Redealing the cards: How an eco-industry modifies the political economy of environmental taxes
This article presents a combined economic-political model of environmental taxation setting. The model introduces a third lobby group - the lobby of an eco-industry - in addition to the traditional lobbies of polluting firms and environmentalists. Pressure groups interact to influence the environmental tax chosen by a regulator maximizing its chances of being reelected. The eco-industry lobby adds a new political contribution toward a higher environmental tax. The imperfectly competitive structure of the eco-industry also modifies the incentives of the usual lobbies. When the foreign environmental policy is constant, environmentalists can be in favor of a decrease in the local tax in order to reduce foreign pollution. We also discuss the formation of alliances between the eco-industry and one of the other lobbies and their potential impact. In general, the impact of lobbying activities on the politically optimal tax is ambiguous and depends on the relative concentration of each pressure group.
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