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Climate policy and fiscal constraints: Do tax interactions outweigh carbon leakage?

  • Fischer, Carolyn
  • Fox, Alan K.

Climate policymaking faces twin challenges of carbon leakage and public sector revenue requirements. A large literature advocates the use of CO2 pricing and recycling the revenues to lower distorting taxes as a way to minimize costs. In this paper, we explore the implications of labor tax interactions for cost-effectiveness of border adjustments and other measures to cope with leakage. We find that, for plausible values of labor supply elasticities, the cost savings from revenue recycling are significant—from 15 to 25%. The cost savings from anti-leakage measures are generally smaller, but also significant, particularly for small coalitions or more binding reduction targets. Tax interactions further enhance the cost savings from border adjustments, but make other measures like rebates or exemptions less attractive.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140988312002186
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): S2 ()
Pages: S218-S227

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:34:y:2012:i:s2:p:s218-s227
DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2012.09.004
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco

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  1. Fischer, Carolyn & Fox, Alan K., 2009. "Combining Rebates with Carbon Taxes: Optimal Strategies for Coping with Emissions Leakage and Tax Interactions," Discussion Papers dp-09-12, Resources For the Future.
  2. Markusen, James R., 1975. "International externalities and optimal tax structures," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 15-29, February.
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  4. Christoph Böhringer & Andreas Lange & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2012. "Optimal Emission Pricing in the Presence of International Spillovers: Decomposing Leakage and Terms-of-Trade Motives," Working Papers V-347-12, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2012.
  5. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
  6. Mustafa H. Babiker & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Border Measures in Subglobal Climate Agreements," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 99-126.
  7. Christoph Böhringer & Carolyn Fischer & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2011. "Cost-effective unilateral climate policy design: Size Matters," Discussion Papers 664, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
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  9. Böhringer, Christoph & Carbone, Jared C. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2012. "Unilateral climate policy design: Efficiency and equity implications of alternative instruments to reduce carbon leakage," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages S208-S217.
  10. Michiel Evers & Ruud A. De Mooij & Daniel J. Van Vuuren, 2005. "What Explains the Variation in Estimates of Labour Supply Elasticities?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1633, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Congressional Budget Office, 2010. "The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020," Reports 41880, Congressional Budget Office.
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  13. Hidemichi Yonezawa & Edward J. Balistreri & Daniel T. Kaffine, 2012. "The suboptimal nature of applying Pigouvian rates as border adjustments," Working Papers 2012-02, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
  14. Parry, Ian W.H. & Williams, Roberton C. III, 2010. "What Are the Costs of Meeting Distributional Objectives in Designing Domestic Climate Policy?," Discussion Papers dp-10-51, Resources For the Future.
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  16. Congressional Budget Office, 2010. "The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020," Reports 41880, Congressional Budget Office.
  17. Hertel, Thomas & David Hummels & Maros Ivanic & Roman Keeney, 2003. "How Confident Can We Be in CGE-Based Assessments of Free Trade Agreements?," GTAP Working Papers 1324, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  18. Hoel, M., 1993. "Should a Carbon Tax Be Differentiated Across Sectors?," Memorandum 09/1993, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  19. Congressional Budget Office, 2010. "The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020," Reports 41880, Congressional Budget Office.
  20. Ian W.H. Parry & Roberton C. Williams III, 2010. "What Are the Costs of Meeting Distributional Objectives for Climate Policy?," NBER Working Papers 16486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Bernard, Alain L. & Fischer, Carolyn & Fox, Alan K., 2007. "Is there a rationale for output-based rebating of environmental levies?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 83-101, May.
  22. Sergey V. Paltsev, 2001. "The Kyoto Protocol: Regional and Sectoral Contributions to the Carbon Leakage," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 53-80.
  23. Congressional Budget Office, 2010. "The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020," Reports 41880, Congressional Budget Office.
  24. Bovenberg, A.L. & Goulder, L.H., 1996. "Optimal environmental taxation in the presence of other taxes : General equilibrium analyses," Other publications TiSEM 5d4b7517-c5c8-4ef6-ab76-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  25. Carolyn Fischer & Alan K. Fox, 2007. "Output-Based Allocation of Emissions Permits for Mitigating Tax and Trade Interactions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 575-599.
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  28. Bovenberg, A Lans & Goulder, Lawrence H, 1996. "Optimal Environmental Taxation in the Presence of Other Taxes: General-Equilibrium Analyses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 985-1000, September.
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