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Why has Europe Become Environmentally Cleaner? Decomposing the Roles of Fiscal, Trade and Environmental Policies

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  • Ramón López

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  • Amparo Palacios

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Abstract

This paper examines the role of fiscal policy, trade and energy taxes on environmental quality in Europe using disaggregated data at the monitoring station level for the 12 richest European countries spanning the period from 1995 to 2008. Our estimations show that fiscal policies and energy taxes are important determinants of pollution through various mechanisms. We find that increasing the share of fiscal spending in GDP and shifting the emphasis towards spending in public goods and against non-social subsidies significantly lower the concentrations of sulfur dioxide and ozone but not nitrogen dioxide. At the same time, energy taxes reduce nitrogen dioxide concentrations but have no effect on ozone and sulfur dioxide. Finally trade openness has a direct effect on sulfur dioxide but no effect on nitrogen dioxide or ozone. Our estimates account for time-varying unobserved heterogeneity. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Ramón López & Amparo Palacios, 2014. "Why has Europe Become Environmentally Cleaner? Decomposing the Roles of Fiscal, Trade and Environmental Policies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(1), pages 91-108, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:58:y:2014:i:1:p:91-108
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-013-9692-5
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Halkos, George & Paizanos, Epameinondas, 2015. "Effects of Macroeconomic Policy on Air Quality: Evidence from the US," MPRA Paper 62001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Garmann, Sebastian, 2014. "Do government ideology and fragmentation matter for reducing CO2-emissions? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 1-10.
    3. Ramon Lopez & Vinod Thomas & Pablo Troncoso, 2016. "Economic growth, natural disasters and climate change: New empirical estimates," Working Papers wp434, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    4. Halkos, George E. & Paizanos, Epameinondas Α., 2016. "The effects of fiscal policy on CO2 emissions: Evidence from the U.S.A," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 317-328.
    5. Galinato, Gregmar I. & Galinato, Suzette P., 2016. "The effects of government spending on deforestation due to agricultural land expansion and CO2 related emissions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 43-53.
    6. Ramón E. López & Vinod Thomas & Pablo Troncoso, 2015. "Climate Change and Natural Disasters," Working Papers wp414, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    7. Ionel Bostan & Mihaela Onofrei & Elena-Doina Dascalu & Bogdan Fîrtescu, 2016. "Impact of Sustainable Environmental Expenditures Policy on Air Pollution Reduction, During European Integration Framework," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 18(42), pages 286-286, May.
    8. Lu, Hongyou & Xu, Wenli & Xu, Kun, 2016. "How to Make The Fiscal policies Greener in China?——Based on The Perspective of Environmental Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 70221, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Government spending; Spending on public goods; Pollution; Taxes; H50; H40; O13; O44; Q53;

    JEL classification:

    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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