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Is there a case for carbon-based border tax adjustment? An applied general equilibrium analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Jean-Marc Burniaux
  • Jean Chateau
  • Romain Duval

Abstract

Concern that unilateral Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reductions could foster carbon leakage and undermine the international competitiveness of domestic industry has led to growing calls for carbon-based Border-Tax Adjustments (BTAs). This article uses a global general equilibrium model to assess the economic effects of BTAs and comes to three main conclusions. First, BTAs can reduce carbon leakage if the coalition of countries taking action to reduce GHG emissions is small, because in this case leakage (while typically small) mainly occurs through international trade competitiveness losses rather than through declines in world fossil fuel prices. Second, even though the economic effects of BTAs vary somewhat depending on how they are implemented, their welfare impact is typically small, and slightly negative at the world level. Third, and perhaps more strikingly, BTAs do not necessarily curb the output losses incurred by the domestic Energy Intensive-Industries (EIIs) they are intended to protect in the first place. This is in part because EIIs in industrialized countries make important use of carbon-intensive intermediate inputs produced by EIIs in other geographical areas. Another, deeper explanation is that EIIs are ultimately more adversely affected by the existence of a carbon price itself than by any international competitiveness losses. These findings are shown to be robust to key model parameters, country coverage, targets and design features of BTAs.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Marc Burniaux & Jean Chateau & Romain Duval, 2013. "Is there a case for carbon-based border tax adjustment? An applied general equilibrium analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(16), pages 2231-2240, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:45:y:2013:i:16:p:2231-2240
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2012.659346
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jean-Marc Burniaux & Joaquim Oliveira Martins, 2012. "Carbon leakages: a general equilibrium view," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(2), pages 473-495, February.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7970 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jean-Marc Burniaux & Jean Château, 2008. "An Overview of the OECD ENV-Linkages Model," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 653, OECD Publishing.
    4. Yan Dong & John Whalley, 2009. "How Large are the Impacts of Carbon Motivated Border Tax Adjustments?," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20093, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
    5. Ben Lockwood & John Whalley, 2010. "Carbon-motivated Border Tax Adjustments: Old Wine in Green Bottles?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(6), pages 810-819, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Springmann, Marco, 2012. "A look inwards: Carbon tariffs versus internal improvements in emissions-trading systems," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 228-239.
    2. Böhringer, Christoph & Fischer, Carolyn & Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2014. "Cost-effective unilateral climate policy design: Size matters," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 318-339.
    3. Karl Steininger & Christian Lininger & Susanne Droege & Dominic Roser & Luke Tomlinson, 2012. "Towards a Just and Cost-Effective Climate Policy: On the relevance and implications of deciding between a Production versus Consumption Based Approach," Graz Economics Papers 2012-06, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    4. Irfanoglu, Zeynep Burcu & Golub, Alla A. & Hertel, Thomas W. & Henderson, Benjamin B., 2012. "Effects of carbon-based border tax adjustments on carbon leakage and competitiveness in livestock sectors," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 125006, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Lanzi, Elisa & Chateau, Jean & Dellink, Rob, 2012. "Alternative approaches for levelling carbon prices in a world with fragmented carbon markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 240-250.
    6. Jared C. Carbone & Nicholas Rivers, 2014. "Climate policy and competitiveness: Policy guidance and quantitative evidence," Working Papers 2014-05, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
    7. Dong, Yanli & Ishikawa, Masanobu & Hagiwara, Taiji, 2015. "Economic and environmental impact analysis of carbon tariffs on Chinese exports," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 80-95.
    8. Daniel Becker & Magdalena Brzeskot & Wolfgang Peters & Ulrike Will, 2013. "Grenzausgleichsinstrumente bei unilateralen Klimaschutzmaßnahmen. Eine ökonomische und WTO-rechtliche Analyse," ZfU - Zeitschrift für Umweltpolitik und Umweltrecht, RECAP15, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), vol. 36(3), pages 339-373, September.
    9. Bao, Qin & Tang, Ling & Zhang, ZhongXiang & Wang, Shouyang, 2013. "Impacts of border carbon adjustments on China's sectoral emissions: Simulations with a dynamic computable general equilibrium model," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 77-94.
    10. Paola Rocchi & Iñaki Arto & Jordi Roca & Mònica Serrano, 2015. "Carbon-motivated border tax adjustment: a proposal for the EU," UB Economics Working Papers 2015/327, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    11. Antimiani, Alessandro & Costantini, Valeria & Martini, Chiara & Salvatici, Luca & Tommasino, Maria Cristina, 2013. "Assessing alternative solutions to carbon leakage," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 299-311.
    12. repec:euv:dpaper:9999 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Christian Lininger, 2013. "Consumption-Based Approaches in International Climate Policy: An Analytical Evaluation of the Implications for Cost-Effectiveness, Carbon Leakage, and the International Income Distribution," Graz Economics Papers 2013-03, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    14. Aaditya Mattoo & Arvind Subramanian & Dominique Mensbrugghe & Jianwu He, 2013. "Trade effects of alternative carbon border-tax schemes," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 149(3), pages 587-609, September.
    15. Michael Jakob & Robert Marschinski & Michael Hübler, 2013. "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A Trade-Theory Analysis of Leakage Under Production- and Consumption-Based Policies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(1), pages 47-72, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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