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Public policies against global warming: a supply side approach

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  • Hans-Werner Sinn

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Abstract

The countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol have pledged to limit global warming by reducing the demand for fossil fuels. But what about supply? If suppliers do not react, demand reductions by a subset of countries are ineffective. They simply depress the world price of carbon and induce the environmental sinners to consume what the Kyoto countries have economized on. Even worse, if suppliers feel threatened by a gradual greening of economic policies in the Kyoto countries that would damage their future prices; they will extract their stocks more rapidly, thus accelerating global warming. The paper discusses the remaining policy options against global warming from an intertemporal supply-side perspective.
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Suggested Citation

  • Hans-Werner Sinn, 2008. "Public policies against global warming: a supply side approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(4), pages 360-394, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:15:y:2008:i:4:p:360-394
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-008-9082-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Global Environment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 851-874, September.
    2. Long, Ngo Van & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1985. "Surprise Price Shifts, Tax Changes and the Supply Behaviour of Resource Extracting Firms," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(45), pages 278-289, December.
    3. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2007. "Pareto Optimality in the Extraction of Fossil Fuels and the Greenhouse Effect: A Note," NBER Working Papers 13453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Solow, Robert M, 1974. "The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 1-14, May.
    5. Robert T. Deacon & Henning Bohn, 2000. "Ownership Risk, Investment, and the Use of Natural Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 526-549, June.
    6. Khalatbari, Firauzeh, 1977. "Market Imperfections and the Optimum Rate of Depletion of Natural Resources," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 44(176), pages 409-414, November.
    7. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1984. "Common Property Resources, Storage Facilities and Ownership Structures: A Cournot Model of the Oil Market," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 51(23), pages 235-252, August.
    8. Howitt, Peter & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1989. "Gradual Reforms of Capital Income Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 106-124, March.
    9. William D. Nordhaus, 2006. "The "Stern Review" on the Economics of Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 12741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    12. Sinclair, P.J.N., 1994. "On the Optimum Trend of Fossil Fuel Taxation," Discussion Papers 94-16, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    13. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1981. "The theory of exhaustible resources," Munich Reprints in Economics 19910, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    14. Konrad Kai A. & Olsen Trond E. & Schob Ronnie, 1994. "Resource Extraction and the Threat of Possible Expropriation: The Role of Swiss Bank Accounts," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 149-162, March.
    15. Long, Ngo Van, 1975. "Resource extraction under the uncertainty about possible nationalization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 42-53, February.
    16. Sir Ian Byatt & Bob Carter & Ian Castles & Chris de Freitas & Indur M. Goklany & David Henderson & David Holland & Lord Lawson of Blaby & Richard S. Lindzen & Ross McKitrick & Julian Morris & Sir Alan, 2006. "The Stern Review: A Dual Critique," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 7(4), pages 165-232, October.
    17. Ulph, Alistair & Ulph, David, 1994. "The Optimal Time Path of a Carbon Tax," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 857-868, Supplemen.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Global warming; Kyoto protocol; Carbon taxes; O13; Q32; Q54; H23;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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