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Tax incentives for extraction and recycling of basic materials in Canada


  • Kim Scharf

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Warwick)


This paper provides an empirical assessment of the overall incentives generated by taxes with respect to the choice between extraction and recycling of basic materials in Canada. We calculate measures of the overall impact of the Canadian tax system on the incremental cost of (i) producing virgin material or recycled material that is to be used as an intermediate input in the production of a final product and (ii) producing finished products. The sectors that we examine include producers of primary virgin material (forestry, mining, oil and gas), producers of recycled material (scrap dealers) and producers of finished products (metal, paper, plastic and glass). Our results indicate that the Canadian tax system significantly favours the use of virgin materials rather than recycled materials in the case of metal and glass products, but the reverse is true for plastic products. Features in the Canadian tax system contributing to these findings are not limited to corporate income and mining tax incentives at the exploration and extraction stages of the production of virgin materials, but also include provincial sales taxes on capital, which are borne more heavily by scrap firms than by resource and manufacturing firms, and provincial sales taxes that apply to business inputs, which also fall more heavily upon the recycling sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Kim Scharf, 1999. "Tax incentives for extraction and recycling of basic materials in Canada," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 20(4), pages 451-477, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:20:y:1999:i:4:p:451-477

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Louis Beuuséjour & Gordon Lenjosek & Michael Smart, 1995. "A CGE Approach to Modelling Carbon Dioxide Emissions Control in Canada and the United States," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 457-488, May.
    2. Robin Boadway & Neil Bruce & Ken McKenzie & Jack Mintz, 1987. "Marginal Effective Tax Rates for Capital in the Canadian Mining Industry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(1), pages 1-16, February.
    3. Kenneth McKenzie & Jack Mintz, 1992. "Tax Effects on the Cost of Capital," NBER Chapters,in: Canada-U.S. Tax Comparisons, pages 189-216 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Thompson, Peter & Taylor, Timothy G, 1995. "The Capital-Energy Substitutability Debate: A New Look," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 565-569, August.
    5. Bev Dahlby, 1992. "Price Adjustment in an Automobile Insurance Market: A Test of the Sheshinski-Weiss Model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(3), pages 564-583, August.
    6. John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1992. "Canada-U.S. Tax Comparisons," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number shov92-1, January.
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    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • Q31 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices


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