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Input versus Emission Taxes: Environmental Taxes in a Mass Balance and Transaction Costs Perspective

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  • Arild Vatn

Abstract

The standard policy recommendation to limit pollution is to use taxes or tradeable quotas on emissions. A general emphasis on emissions does not, however, take proper account of the characteristics of the material flow through the economy. An analysis of the relationships between transaction costs and features of this flow shows that it may be less costly to tax inputs into the economy. The paper focuses on the advantages of a mass flow perspective in environmental economics, the trade-off between the precision of an environmental regulation and its implementation costs, and develops criteria for choosing between input and emission-related instruments.

Suggested Citation

  • Arild Vatn, 1998. "Input versus Emission Taxes: Environmental Taxes in a Mass Balance and Transaction Costs Perspective," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(4), pages 514-525.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:74:y:1998:i:4:p:514-525
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    Cited by:

    1. Nilsson, Fredrik Olof Laurentius, 2008. "Applied economics of multifunctional agriculture," Department of Economics publications 1768, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
    2. Lacroix, A. & Bel, F. & Mollard, A. & Sauboua, E., 2004. "Interest of site-specific pollution control policies," Working Papers 200424, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
    3. der Straeten, Bart Van & Buysse, Jeroen & Nolte, Stephan & Lauwers, Ludwig & Claeys, Dakerlia & Van Huylenbroeck, Guido, 2011. "Markets of concentration permits: The case of manure policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2098-2104, September.
    4. Wossink, G. A. A. & Oude Lansink, A. G. J. M. & Struik, P. C., 2001. "Non-separability and heterogeneity in integrated agronomic-economic analysis of nonpoint-source pollution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 345-357, September.
    5. Coggan, Anthea & Buitelaar, Edwin & Whitten, Stuart & Bennett, Jeff, 2013. "Factors that influence transaction costs in development offsets: Who bears what and why?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 222-231.
    6. Athanasios Kampas & Richard Horan, 2016. "Second-best pollution taxes: revisited and revised," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(4), pages 577-597, October.
    7. Vatn, Arild, 2015. "Markets in environmental governance. From theory to practice," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 225-233.
    8. Aftab, Ashar & Hanley, Nick & Baiocchi, Giovanni, 2010. "Integrated regulation of nonpoint pollution: Combining managerial controls and economic instruments under multiple environmental targets," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 24-33, November.
    9. Ke Wang & Zhifu Mi & Yi-Ming Wei, 2018. "Will pollution taxes improve joint ecological and economic efficiency of thermal power industry in China? A DEA based materials balance approach," CEEP-BIT Working Papers 114, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEP), Beijing Institute of Technology.
    10. McCann, Laura & Colby, Bonnie & Easter, K. William & Kasterine, Alexander & Kuperan, K.V., 2005. "Transaction cost measurement for evaluating environmental policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 527-542, March.
    11. Kampas, Athanasios, 2001. "Identifying Common Fallacies in the Choice of Environmental Taxes for Agricultural Pollution Control: The Absence of Transaction Costs and the Normality of Agricultural Pollutants," Agricultural Economics Review, Greek Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 2(2), August.
    12. Nilsson, Fredrik O. L., 2007. "Transaction costs of agri-environmental policy measures," Department of Economics publications 3100, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.

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