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An integrated tax-subsidy policy for carbon emission reduction


  • Galinato, Gregmar I.
  • Yoder, Jonathan K.


A carbon tax is often cited by economists as an effective instrument to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, but there is little political interest in the United States. In light of this political unpopularity, we develop and examine a net-revenue constrained carbon tax and subsidy program. The optimal revenue constrained tax and subsidy schedule based on our utility maximization model taxes energy sources with high emissions to energy price ratio, and subsidizes sources with low emissions to energy price ratios. This approach may be more palatable than a traditional carbon tax because it can change the relative price of low and high emissions energy sources while providing a mechanism to limit net tax increases and energy price increases. We find that a constrained tax/subsidy program provides welfare gains relative to a no-tax scenario. Welfare gains are estimated to be 1% and 36% of the welfare gains from a Pigouvian tax for the motor fuels industry and electric power industry, respectively. In contrast, subsidies for low-emitting energy sources funded from general tax funds rather than from high-emission energy tax revenues lead to welfare decreases substantially below our proposed tax/subsidy policy approach.

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  • Galinato, Gregmar I. & Yoder, Jonathan K., 2010. "An integrated tax-subsidy policy for carbon emission reduction," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 310-326, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:32:y:2010:i:3:p:310-326

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Main, 2013. "Subsidizing Non-Polluting Goods vs. Taxing Polluting Goods for Pollution Reduction," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(4), pages 349-362, December.
    2. Doshi, Amar & Pascoe, Sean & Coglan, Louisa & Rainey, Thomas J., 2016. "Economic and policy issues in the production of algae-based biofuels: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 329-337.
    3. Amigues, Jean-Pierre & Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Lafforgue, Gilles & Moreaux, Michel, 2012. "Renewable Portfolio Standards and implicit tax-subsidy schemes: Structural differences induced by quantity and proportional mandates," LERNA Working Papers 12.02.359, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    4. Abolhosseini, Shahrouz & Heshmati, Almas & Altmann, Jörn, 2014. "The Effect of Renewable Energy Development on Carbon Emission Reduction: An Empirical Analysis for the EU-15 Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 7989, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Anping Chen & Nicolaas Groenewold, 2013. "Regional Effects in China of an Emissions-Reduction Policy: Tax v. Subsidy," ERSA conference papers ersa13p1275, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Nikodinoska, Dragana & Schröder, Carsten, 2015. "On the emissions-inequality trade-off in energy taxation: Evidence on the German car fuel tax," Discussion Papers 2015/6, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    7. Chen, Anping & Groenewold, Nicolaas, 2015. "Emission reduction policy: A regional economic analysis for China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 136-152.
    8. Abolhosseini, Shahrouz & Heshmati, Almas, 2014. "The main support mechanisms to finance renewable energy development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 876-885.
    9. Skolrud, Tristan D. & Galinato, Gregmar I., 2017. "Welfare implications of the renewable fuel standard with an integrated tax-subsidy policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 291-301.
    10. G. Ceccantoni & O. Tarola & C. Vergari, 2017. "Relative tax in a vertically differentiated market: the key role of consumers in environment," Working Papers wp2005, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    11. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Lessmann, Kai, 2013. "Renewable energy subsidies: Second-best policy or fatal aberration for mitigation?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 217-234.
    12. Bilgili, Faik, 2015. "Business cycle co-movements between renewables consumption and industrial production: A continuous wavelet coherence approach," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 325-332.
    13. Bilgili, Faik & Koçak, Emrah & Bulut, Ümit, 2016. "The dynamic impact of renewable energy consumption on CO2 emissions: A revisited Environmental Kuznets Curve approach," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 838-845.
    14. repec:spr:annopr:v:255:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-016-2106-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:eee:eneeco:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:146-158 is not listed on IDEAS


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