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The implications for households of environmental tax reform (ETR) in Europe

  • Ekins, Paul
  • Pollitt, Hector
  • Barton, Jennifer
  • Blobel, Daniel
Registered author(s):

    The paper discusses the distributional implications of environmental tax reform (ETR) for households, and presents new results from modelling the impacts of a major ETR for the European Union. The distributional effects arise from the new environmental taxes, any tax reductions made as part of the ETR, the wider macroeconomic impacts from the ETR, any special provisions in the ETR, and the environmental benefits from the ETR. The paper's literature review makes clear that while the impacts from taxes on the household use of energy are very often regressive, transport taxes tend not to be, although the impacts differ between urban and rural households. Moreover, the net distributional impact is often less regressive, or not at all, once the wider distributional effects are taken into account. Residual regressive effects can in principle be removed by further adjustments in the tax or benefits system. The modelling results suggest that an ETR in Europe will actually increase real incomes across the EU as a whole, and will not be generally regressive, although the results differ by country and for different socio-economic groups. The political acceptability of ETR may depend on the worst effects on these groups being mitigated in some way.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800911003375
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 12 ()
    Pages: 2472-2485

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:12:p:2472-2485
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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    1. Terry Barker & Jonathan Köhler, 1998. "Equity and ecotax reform in the EU: achieving a 10 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions using excise duties," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 375-402, November.
    2. Stefan Bach, 2009. "Zehn Jahre ökologische Steuerreform: finanzpolitisch erfolgreich, klimapolitisch halbherzig," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 76(14), pages 218-227.
    3. Bach, Stefan & Kohlhaas, Michael & Meyer, Bernd & Praetorius, Barbara & Welsch, Heinz, 2002. "The effects of environmental fiscal reform in Germany: a simulation study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 803-811, July.
    4. Chevillon, Guillaume & Rifflart, Christine, 2009. "Physical market determinants of the price of crude oil and the market premium," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 537-549, July.
    5. Matteo Manera & Chiara Longo & Anil Markandya & Elisa Scarpa, 2007. "Evaluating the Empirical Performance of Alternative Econometric Models for Oil Price Forecasting," Working Papers 2007.4, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Brännlund, Runar & Nordström, Jonas, 1999. "Carbon Tax Simulations Using a Household Demand Model," Umeå Economic Studies 508, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    7. Wier, Mette & Birr-Pedersen, Katja & Jacobsen, Henrik Klinge & Klok, Jacob, 2005. "Are CO2 taxes regressive? Evidence from the Danish experience," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 239-251, January.
    8. Speck, Stefan, 1999. "Energy and carbon taxes and their distributional implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 659-667, October.
    9. Stefan Bach, 1997. "Steuerreform in Deutschland," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 66(3-4), pages 291-316.
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