IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this book chapter or follow this series

Neutralizing the Adverse Industry Impacts of CO2 Abatement Policies: What Does It Cost?

In: Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy

  • A. Lans Bovenberg
  • Lawrence H. Goulder

The most cost-effective policies for achieving CO2 abatement (e.g., carbon taxes) fail to get off the ground politically because of unacceptable distributional consequences. This paper explores CO2 abatement policies designed to address distributional concerns. Using an intertemporal numerical general equilibrium model of the U.S., we examine how efficiency costs change when these policies include features that neutralize adverse impacts on energy industries. We find that avoiding adverse impacts on profits and equity values in fossil fuel industries involves a relatively small efficiency cost. This stems from the fact that CO2 abatement policies have the potential to generate revenues that are very large relative to the potential loss of profit. By enabling firms to retain only a very small fraction of these potential revenues, the government can protect firms' profits and equity values. Thus, the government needs to grandfather only a small percentage of CO2 emissions permits or, similarly, must exempt only a small fraction of emissions from the base of a carbon tax. These policies involve a small sacrifice of potential government revenue. Such revenue has an efficiency value because it can finance cuts in pre-existing distortionary taxes. Because the revenue sacrifice is small, the efficiency cost is small as well. We also find that there is a very large difference between preserving firms' profits and preserving their tax payments. Offsetting producers' carbon tax payments on a dollar-for-dollar basis (through cuts in corporate tax rates, for example) substantially overcompensates firms, raising profits and equity values significantly relative to the unregulated situation. This reflects the fact that producers can shift onto consumers most of the burden from a carbon tax. The efficiency costs of such policies are far greater than the costs of policies that do not overcompensate firms.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c10605.pdf
Download Restriction: no

as
in new window

This chapter was published in:
  • Carlo Carraro & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2001. "Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number carr01-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10605.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10605
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. James M. Poterba, 1991. "Tax Policy to Combat Global Warming: On Designing a Carbon Tax," NBER Working Papers 3649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Felder, Stefan & Schleiniger, Reto, 2002. "Environmental tax reform: efficiency and political feasibility," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 107-116, August.
    3. Jorgenson, Dale W. & Wilcoxen, Peter J., 1993. "Reducing US carbon emissions: an econometric general equilibrium assessment," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 7-25, March.
    4. Parry, Ian W. H. & Bento, Antonio M., 2000. "Tax Deductions, Environmental Policy, and the "Double Dividend" Hypothesis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 67-96, January.
    5. Don Fullerton & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1997. "Environmental Controls, Scarcity Rents, and Pre-Existing Distortions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9703, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    6. Nicholas Bull & Kevin A. Hassett & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1993. "Who pays broad-based energy taxes? Computing lifetime and regional incidence," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 142, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Goulder Lawrence H., 1995. "Effects of Carbon Taxes in an Economy with Prior Tax Distortions: An Intertemporal General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 271-297, November.
    8. Parry, Ian & Goulder, Lawrence & Williams III, Roberton, 1997. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," Discussion Papers dp-97-18-rev, Resources For the Future.
    9. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1998. "A Distributional Analysis of an Environmental Tax Shift," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9801, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    10. 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.
    11. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Thalmann, Philippe, 1993. "Approaches to efficient capital taxation : Leveling the playing field vs. living by the golden rule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 169-196, February.
    13. Parry Ian W. H., 1995. "Pollution Taxes and Revenue Recycling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages S64-S77, November.
    14. A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder, 1995. "Costs of Environmentally Motivated Taxes in the Presence of Other Taxes:General Equilibrium Analyses," NBER Working Papers 5117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "The Economic Effects of Dividend Taxation," NBER Working Papers 1353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Bovenberg, A.L. & Goulder, L.H., 1996. "Optimal environmental taxation in the presence of other taxes : General equilibrium analyses," Other publications TiSEM 5d4b7517-c5c8-4ef6-ab76-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    17. Alan Manne & Richard Richels, 1992. "Buying Greenhouse Insurance: The Economic Costs of CO2 Emission Limits," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026213280x, June.
    18. John Pezzey, 1992. "The Symmetry between Controlling Pollution by Price and Controlling It by Quantity," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(4), pages 983-91, November.
    19. Herman Vollebergh & Jan Vries & Paul Koutstaal, 1997. "Hybrid carbon incentive mechanisms and political acceptability," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(1), pages 43-63, January.
    20. Bovenberg, A.L. & de Mooij, R.A., 1994. "Environmental levies and distortionary taxation," Other publications TiSEM 4b32deaa-ec2f-4de7-b59b-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    21. Lawrence Goulder, 1995. "Environmental taxation and the double dividend: A reader's guide," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 157-183, August.
    22. P.J. Romilly, 1991. "Global Warming and the Car," Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, , vol. 4(1), pages 91-100, January.
    23. Lawrence H. Goulder, 1994. "Energy Taxes: Traditional Efficiency Effects and Environmental Implications," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 8, pages 105-158 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder, 2001. "Environmental Taxation and Regulation," NBER Working Papers 8458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Jorgenson, D.W. & Slesnick, D. & Wilcoxen, P.J., 1992. "Carbon Taxes and Economic Welfare," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1589, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    26. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W. H. Parry & Dallas Burtraw, 1996. "Revenue-Raising vs. Other Approaches to Environmental Protection: The Critical Significance of Pre-Existing Tax Distortions," NBER Working Papers 5641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. 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.
    28. Lawrence H. Summers, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Investment: A q-Theory Approach," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 67-140.
    29. Bovenberg, A Lans & Goulder, Lawrence H, 1996. "Optimal Environmental Taxation in the Presence of Other Taxes: General-Equilibrium Analyses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 985-1000, September.
    30. Bovenberg, A Lans & de Mooij, Ruud A, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 252-53, March.
    31. Lawrance, Emily C, 1991. "Poverty and the Rate of Time Preference: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 54-77, February.
    32. Farrow, Scott, 1999. "The duality of taxes and tradable permits: A survey with applications in Central and Eastern Europe," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(04), pages 519-535, October.
    33. Buchanan, James M & Tullock, Gordon, 1975. "Polluters' Profits and Political Response: Direct Controls Versus Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 139-47, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10605. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.