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A Second-Best Analysis of Environmental Subsidies

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  • Ian Parry

Abstract

This paper examines the complications posed by pre-existing tax distortions in the economy, for the evaluation of a variety of subsidy policies that affect the environment. These complications include not only the efficiency cost of financing the subsidy by distortionary taxation, but also the interaction effects between the subsidized market and markets with pre-existing taxes. Studies that ignore both of these effects, or only incorporate the first type of effect, can be highly misleading. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Parry, 1998. "A Second-Best Analysis of Environmental Subsidies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 5(2), pages 153-170, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:5:y:1998:i:2:p:153-170
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1008638320593
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wildasin, David E, 1984. "On Public Good Provision with Distortionary Taxation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(2), pages 227-243, April.
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    7. Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2001. "Environmental controls, scarcity rents, and pre-existing distortions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 249-267, May.
    8. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249.
    9. Parry Ian W. H., 1995. "Pollution Taxes and Revenue Recycling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 64-77, November.
    10. Larsen, Bjorn & Shah, Anwar & DEC, 1992. "World fossil fuel subsidies and global carbon emissions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1002, The World Bank.
    11. Ballard, Charles L. & Medema, Steven G., 1993. "The marginal efficiency effects of taxes and subsidies in the presence of externalities : A computational general equilibrium approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 199-216, September.
    12. Bovenberg, A. Lans & Goulder, Lawrence H., 1997. "Costs of Environmentally Motivated Taxes in the Presence of Other Taxes: General Equilibrium Analyses," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(1), pages 59-88, March.
    13. Parry, Ian W. H., 1997. "Environmental taxes and quotas in the presence of distorting taxes in factor markets," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 203-220, August.
    14. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Main, 2013. "Subsidizing Non-Polluting Goods vs. Taxing Polluting Goods for Pollution Reduction," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(4), pages 349-362, December.
    2. Fullerton, Don & Wolverton, Ann, 2005. "The two-part instrument in a second-best world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1961-1975, September.
    3. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W. H. Parry, 2008. "Instrument Choice in Environmental Policy," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(2), pages 152-174, Summer.
    4. Boomhower, Judson & Davis, Lucas W., 2014. "A credible approach for measuring inframarginal participation in energy efficiency programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 67-79.
    5. repec:aen:journl:ej38-si1-davis is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Bovenberg, A. Lans & Goulder, Lawrence H., 2002. "Environmental taxation and regulation," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1471-1545 Elsevier.
    7. Parry, Ian W.H., 2005. "Comparing the welfare effects of public and private health care subsidies in the United Kingdom," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1191-1209, November.
    8. Don Fullerton, 2001. "A Framework to Compare Environmental Policies," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 224-248, October.
    9. Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2001. "Environmental controls, scarcity rents, and pre-existing distortions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 249-267, May.
    10. Skolrud, Tristan D. & Galinato, Gregmar I., 2017. "Welfare implications of the renewable fuel standard with an integrated tax-subsidy policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 291-301.
    11. Lisandro Abrego & Carlo Perroni, 2002. "Investment subsidies and Time-Consistent Environmental Policy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 617-635, October.
    12. Lucas W. Davis, 2017. "The Environmental Cost of Global Fuel Subsidies," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(KAPSARC S).
    13. Arguedas, Carmen & van Soest, Daan P., 2009. "On reducing the windfall profits in environmental subsidy programs," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 192-205, September.
    14. Stéphan Marette & Jutta Roosen & Sandrine Blanchemanche, 2008. "Taxes and subsidies to change eating habits when information is not enough: an application to fish consumption," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 119-143, October.
    15. Ian W.H. Parry, 1999. "Agricultural Policies in the Presence of Distorting Taxes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(1), pages 212-230.
    16. Ian W. H. Parry, 2003. "Fiscal Interactions and the Case for Carbon Taxes Over Grandfathered Carbon Permits," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 385-399.
    17. Parry, Ian, 2001. "On the Efficiency of Public and Private Health Care Systems: An Application to Alternative Health Policies in the United Kingdom," Discussion Papers dp-01-07, Resources For the Future.
    18. Maia David & Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné, 2006. "Revisiting the Environmental Subsidy in the Presence of an Eco-Industry," Working Papers 2006/04, INRA, Economie Publique.
    19. Galinato, Gregmar I. & Yoder, Jonathan K., 2010. "An integrated tax-subsidy policy for carbon emission reduction," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 310-326, August.
    20. Jean-Christophe Caffet, 2005. "Health effects and optimal environmental taxes in welfare state countries," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques v05049, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    21. Joseph E. Aldy & Todd D. Gerarden & Richard L. Sweeney, 2018. "Investment versus Output Subsidies: Implications of Alternative Incentives for Wind Energy," NBER Working Papers 24378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Daan P. van Soest & Herman R.J. Vollebergh, 2011. "Energy Investment Behaviour: Firm Heterogeneity and Subsidy Design," Chapters,in: Improving Energy Efficiency through Technology, chapter 9 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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