Suggested Subsidies are Sub-optimal Unless Combined with an Output Tax
Because of difficulties measuring pollution, many prior papers suggest a subsidy to some observable method of reducing pollution. We take three such papers as examples, and we extend each of them to show how welfare under the suggested subsidy can be increased by the addition of an output tax. While the suggested subsidy reduces damage per unit of output, it also decreases the firm's cost of production and the equilibrium break-even price. It might therefore increase output – unless combined with an output tax. While this general point has appeared in prior literature, it has been overlooked in specific applications. We illustrate the applicability of a tax-subsidy combination in three very different models of different environmental problems. Using one example, we show that a properly-constructed subsidy-tax combination is equivalent to a Pigovian tax. Another example is a computational model, extended here to show that the policy combination can yield a welfare gain that is more than three times the gain from using the subsidy alone. The third example is a theoretical model, used to show that the subsidy alone increases production and thus could increase total pollution. An additional output tax offsets this increase in production.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 2 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.degruyter.com|
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejeap|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Stranlund, John K., 1997. "Public Technological Aid to Support Compliance to Environmental Standards," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 228-239, November.
- Isaac Ehrlich, 1974. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: An Economic Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 68-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Deacon Robert T., 1995. "Assessing the Relationship between Government Policy and Deforestation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-18, January.
- Sullivan, Arthur M., 1987. "Policy options for toxics disposal: Laissez-faire, subsidization, and enforcement," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 58-71, March.
- Fullerton Don & West Sarah E, 2010.
"Tax and Subsidy Combinations for the Control of Car Pollution,"
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy,
De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-33, February.
- Don Fullerton & Sarah West, 2000. "Tax and Subsidy Combinations for the Control of Car Pollution," NBER Working Papers 7774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.