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

Author

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  • Ekins, Paul
  • Pollitt, Hector
  • Barton, Jennifer
  • Blobel, Daniel

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ekins, Paul & Pollitt, Hector & Barton, Jennifer & Blobel, Daniel, 2011. "The implications for households of environmental tax reform (ETR) in Europe," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2472-2485.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:12:p:2472-2485
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.08.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecolec:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:109-125 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Habla, Wolfgang & Roeder, Kerstin, 2017. "The political economy of mitigation and adaptation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 239-257.
    3. Roeder, Kerstin & Habla, Wolfgang, 2012. "The Political Sustainability of Germany's Environmental Tax Rate," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62060, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Filipović, Sanja & Verbič, Miroslav & Radovanović, Mirjana, 2015. "Determinants of energy intensity in the European Union: A panel data analysis," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 92(P3), pages 547-555.
    5. Costantini, Valeria & D'Amato, Alessio & Martini, Chiara & Tommasino, Maria Cristina & Valentini, Edilio & Zoli, Mariangela, 2013. "Taxing international emissions trading," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 609-621.
    6. Rosas-Flores, Jorge Alberto & Bakhat, Mohcine & Rosas-Flores, Dionicio & Fernández Zayas, José Luis, 2017. "Distributional effects of subsidy removal and implementation of carbon taxes in Mexican households," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 21-28.
    7. Habla, Wolfgang & Roeder, Kerstin, 2013. "Intergenerational aspects of ecotax reforms – An application to Germany," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 301-318.
    8. repec:eee:inteco:v:150:y:2017:i:c:p:80-95 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Heindl, Peter & Löschel, Andreas, 2015. "Social implications of green growth policies from the perspective of energy sector reform and its impact on households," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-012, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    10. Verde, Stefano F. & Pazienza, Maria Grazia, 2016. "Energy and climate hand-in-hand: Financing RES-E support with carbon revenues," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 234-244.
    11. Alberto Gago & Xavier Labandeira & Xiral López Otero, 2014. "A Panorama on Energy Taxes and Green Tax Reforms," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 208(1), pages 145-190, March.
    12. Ivan Faiella & Federico Cingano, 2015. "La tassazione verde in Italia: l’analisi di una carbon tax sui trasporti," ECONOMIA PUBBLICA, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(2), pages 45-90.
    13. repec:eee:ecolec:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:31-45 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Xaquín Garcia-Muros & Mercedes Burguillo & Mikel Gonzalez-Eguino & Desiderio Romero-Jordán, 2014. "Local air pollution and global climate change taxes: a distributional analysis," Working Papers 2014-01, BC3.

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