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Fiscal consolidation and climate policy: An overlapping generations perspective

  • Rausch, Sebastian

This paper examines the distributional and efficiency impacts of public debt consolidation financed through a carbon tax employing a dynamic general-equilibrium model with overlapping generations of the U.S. economy. The numerical model features government taxes and spending and a multi-sectoral production structure including intermediate production, specific detail on the energy sector both in terms of primary energy carriers and energy-intensive industries, and sector- and fuel-specific carbon inputs. In contrast to revenue-neutral carbon tax swaps, using the carbon revenue for deficit reduction implies a relaxation of future public budgets as debt repayment results in lower future interest obligations. While intergenerational welfare impacts depend importantly on what tax recycling instrument is used, we find that combining public debt consolidation with a carbon policy entails the possibility of sustained welfare gains for future generations. If social discount rates are sufficiently low or if social preferences exhibit a large aversion with respect to intergenerational inequality, combining fiscal consolidation and climate policy may offer the chance for societal gains even without considering potential benefits from averted climate change.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (2013)
Issue (Month): S1 ()
Pages: S134-S148

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:40:y:2013:i:s1:p:s134-s148
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco

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  1. Babiker, Mustafa H. & Metcalf, Gilbert E. & Reilly, John, 2003. "Tax distortions and global climate policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 269-287, September.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Charles J. Redlick, 2011. "Macroeconomic Effects From Government Purchases and Taxes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 51-102.
  3. Rutherford, Thomas F., 1995. "Extension of GAMS for complementarity problems arising in applied economic analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1299-1324, November.
  4. Rutherford, Thomas F, 1999. "Applied General Equilibrium Modeling with MPSGE as a GAMS Subsystem: An Overview of the Modeling Framework and Syntax," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 14(1-2), pages 1-46, October.
  5. A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder, 1994. "Optimal Environmental Taxation in the Presence of Other Taxes: General Equilibrium Analyses," NBER Working Papers 4897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Altig, 2001. "Simulating Fundamental Tax Reform in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 574-595, June.
  7. Rasmussen, Tobias N. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2004. "Modeling overlapping generations in a complementarity format," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1383-1409, April.
  8. Jensen, Svend E Hougaard & Rutherford, Thomas F, 2002. " Distributional Effects of Fiscal Consolidation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(3), pages 471-93, September.
  9. 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.
  10. Lau, Morten I. & Pahlke, Andreas & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2002. "Approximating infinite-horizon models in a complementarity format: A primer in dynamic general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 577-609, April.
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