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Environmental Policy, Tax Incidence, and the Cost of Public Funds

  • Jenny Ligthart
  • Frederick Van Der Ploeg

This paper studies under what conditions a ‘double dividend’ may occur in the sense that both environmental quality and employment rise. A simple static general equilibrium model is employed in which tax policy faces the dual task of internalising a negative environmental externality and raising revenue to finance public consumption. The model features a clearing labour market with both labour demand and supply and a fixed factor of production (e.g. capital). Hence, we can study tax incidence and its effect on employment, environmental quality, and the marginal cost of public funds. It is shown for the case of an upward sloping labour supply curve and less than full tax shifting by employers that a shift towards greener preferences cannot yield a double dividend, even if the fixed factor is important. However, if labour supply curve bends backwards, more environmental concern confers a double dividend. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

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Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 13 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 187-207

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:13:y:1999:i:2:p:187-207
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  1. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton, 1992. "Distortionary Taxes and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 117-131, Summer.
  2. Bovenberg, A Lans & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1994. " Green Policies and Public Finance in a Small Open Economy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(3), pages 343-63.
  3. Terkla, David, 1984. "The efficiency value of effluent tax revenues," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 107-123, June.
  4. Lee, Dwight R. & Misiolek, Walter S., 1986. "Substituting pollution taxation for general taxation: Some implications for efficiency in pollutions taxation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 338-347, December.
  5. Lawrence Goulder, 1995. "Environmental taxation and the double dividend: A reader's guide," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 157-183, August.
  6. Pearce, David W, 1991. "The Role of Carbon Taxes in Adjusting to Global Warming," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 938-48, July.
  7. Alan J. Auerbach, 1982. "The Theory of Excess Burden and Optimal Taxation," NBER Working Papers 1025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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