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Environmental capital flight and pollution tax

  • Lih-Jau Wang
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    This paper analyzes the impacts of a production pollution tax on environmental capital flight and national product in a two-country static general equilibrium model with two-way foreign investment. It is assumed that the capital input in both countries is a composite good of domestic and imported capital. And pollution is assumed to originate in the production process. The productivity of capital in each country is negatively (or positively) related to the worldwide aggregate emissions. The analysis shows that when a domestic pollution tax is levied, domestic capital outflows increase and foreign capital inflows decrease for sufficiently high elasticities of substitution between labor (immobile input) and capital (mobile input) in both countries. Moreover, with negative transnational externalities, increases of a domestic pollution tax reduce domestic production and increase foreign production. The difficulty of substitution between immobile and mobile inputs hinders the optimal allocation of worldwide capital and national product. In this paper, the optimal pollution tax is based on global welfare maximization, not on global income maximization, taking into consideration the impact of income change on individual welfare. Therefore, an optimal pollution tax in the developing country should be lower for a given rate of pollution. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

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

    Volume (Year): 5 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 3 (April)
    Pages: 273-286

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:5:y:1995:i:3:p:273-286
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    1. Bovenberg, A.L., 1989. "The effects of capital income taxation on international competitiveness and trade flows," Other publications TiSEM e64b6c96-399c-460f-9eff-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Hoel, M., 1989. "Global Environmental Problems: The Effects Of Unilateral Actions Taken By One Country," Memorandum 11/1989, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    3. Nordhaus, William D., 1993. "Rolling the 'DICE': an optimal transition path for controlling greenhouse gases," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 27-50, March.
    4. Lawrence H. Goulder & John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1983. "Domestic Tax Policy and the Foreign Sector: The Importance of Alternative Foreign Sector Formulations to Results from a General Equilibrium Tax Analysis Model," NBER Chapters, in: Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis, pages 333-368 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1993. "Strategies for the international protection of the environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 309-328, October.
    6. Bovenberg, A. Lans, 1986. "Capital income taxation in growing open economies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 347-376, December.
    7. Bovenberg, A.L., 1986. "Capital income taxation in growing open economies," Other publications TiSEM d92d32f6-df9f-418b-bbd3-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Bovenberg, A Lans, 1989. "The Effects of Capital Income Taxation on International Competitiveness and Trade Flows," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1045-64, December.
    9. Kosobud, Richard F & Daly, Thomas A, 1984. "Global Conflict or Cooperation over the CO2 Climate Impact?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 638-59.
    10. Lawrence H. Goulder & John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1982. "Domestic Tax Policy and the Foreign Sector: The Importance of Alternative Foreign Sector Formulations to Results from a General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 0919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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