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Some Distributional Issues in Greenhouse Gas Policy Design

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  • Freebairn, John W.

Abstract

The paper argues from first principles and with supporting related empirical evidence that most of the final incidence of emissions taxes or tradable permits will fall on consumers of greenhouse gas intensive products. This distributional outcome supports an emissions reduction strategy of an emissions tax or auctioning the tradable permits, rather than gifting permits in a grandfather arrangement to current polluters as was done in Europe and has currency with proposals for Australia. Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change is a global pollution problem that gives rise to a prisoner’s dilemma problem in which the global cooperative solution in undermined by individual countries free-riding. Some of the issues and challenges to be overcome to reach a cooperative global policy package are discussed, including the different interests and perspectives of developed and developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Freebairn, John W., 2008. "Some Distributional Issues in Greenhouse Gas Policy Design," 2008 Conference (52nd), February 5-8, 2008, Canberra, Australia 6770, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare08:6770
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/6770
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Popp, David, 2006. "Innovation in climate policy models: Implementing lessons from the economics of R&D," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5-6), pages 596-609, November.
    2. Dixon, Peter B. & Rimmer, Maureen T., 2000. "The Government/Democrats' package of changes in indirect taxes," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 44(1), March.
    3. A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder & Derek J. Gurney, 2005. "Efficiency Costs of Meeting Industry-Distributional Constraints Under Environmental Permits and Taxes," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 950-970, Winter.
    4. Warwick J. McKibbin, 2007. "From National to International Climate Change Policy," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 40(4), pages 410-420, December.
    5. Creedy, John & Sleeman, Catherine, 2006. "Carbon taxation, prices and welfare in New Zealand," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 333-345, May.
    6. Richard S. J. Tol, 2006. "The Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change: A Comment," Energy & Environment, , vol. 17(6), pages 977-981, November.
    7. 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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    Cited by:

    1. John Freebairn, 2009. "Should Households and Businesses Receive Compensation for the Costs of Greenhouse Gas Emissions?," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1071, The University of Melbourne.

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    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy;

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