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Why Finance Ministers Favor Carbon Taxes, Even if They Do not Take Climate Change into Account

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  • Franks, Max
  • Edenhofer, Ottmar
  • Lessmann, Kai

Abstract

Fiscal considerations may shift governmental priorities away from environmental concerns: Finance ministers face strong demand for public expenditures such as infrastructure investments but they are constrained by international tax competition. We develop a multi-region model of tax competition and resource extraction to assess the fiscal incentive of imposing a tax on carbon rather than on capital. We explicitly model international capital and resource markets, as well as intertemporal capital accumulation and resource extraction. While fossil resources give rise to scarcity rents, capital does not. With carbon taxes the rents can be captured and invested in infrastructure, which leads to higher welfare than under capital taxation. This result holds even without modeling environmental damages. It is robust under a variation of the behavioral assumptions of resource importers to coordinate their actions, and a resource exporter's ability to counteract carbon policies. Further, no green paradox occurs - instead, the carbon tax constitutes a viable green policy, since it postpones extraction and reduces cumulative emissions.

Suggested Citation

  • Franks, Max & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Lessmann, Kai, 2015. "Why Finance Ministers Favor Carbon Taxes, Even if They Do not Take Climate Change into Account," Climate Change and Sustainable Development 202761, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:feemcl:202761
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/202761/files/NDL2015-037.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bento, Antonio M. & Jacobsen, Mark, 2007. "Ricardian rents, environmental policy and the `double-dividend' hypothesis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 17-31, January.
    2. van der Meijden, Gerard & van der Ploeg, Frederick & Withagen, Cees, 2015. "International capital markets, oil producers and the Green Paradox," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 275-297.
    3. Ward Romp & Jakob de Haan, 2007. "Public Capital and Economic Growth: A Critical Survey," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(s1), pages 6-52, April.
    4. Amundsen, Eirik S. & Schob, Ronnie, 1999. "Environmental taxes on exhaustible resources," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 311-329, June.
    5. Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2007. "The Marginal Product of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 535-568.
    6. Magnus Hoffmann & Marco Runkel, 2012. "Why Countries Compete in Ad Valorem Instead of Unit Capital Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 3893, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Cees Withagen & Alex Halsema, 2013. "Tax competition leading to strict environmental policy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(3), pages 434-449, June.
    8. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Lessmann, Kai, 2012. "Learning or lock-in: Optimal technology policies to support mitigation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-23.
    9. van der Meijden, Gerard & van der Ploeg, Frederick & Withagen, Cees, 2015. "International capital markets, oil producers and the Green Paradox," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 275-297.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Habla, Wolfgang, 2016. "The Green Paradox and Interjurisdictional Competition across Space and Time," Working Papers in Economics 668, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Karl Zimmermann, 2019. "Public Infrastructure Provision in the Presence of Terms-of-Trade Effects and Tax Competition," EconStor Preprints 193458, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    3. Ritter, Hendrik & Runkel, Marco & Zimmermann, Karl, 2019. "Environmental Effects of Capital Income Taxation - A New Double Dividend?," EconStor Preprints 195172, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    4. Bak, Céline & Bhattacharya, Amar & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Knopf, Brigitte, 2017. "Towards a comprehensive approach to climate policy, sustainable infrastructure, and finance," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 11, pages 1-13.
    5. Siegmeier, Jan & Mattauch, Linus & Franks, Max & Klenert, David & Schultes, Anselm & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2015. "A Public Finance Perspective on Climate Policy: Six Interactions That May Enhance Welfare," Climate Change and Sustainable Development 202119, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    6. Runkel, Marco & Kellner, Maximilian, 2018. "Climate Policy and Optimal Public Debt," Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181639, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Adrien Vogt‐Schilb & Stephane Hallegatte, 2017. "Climate policies and nationally determined contributions: reconciling the needed ambition with the political economy," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(6), November.
    8. Emmanuel Combet, 2016. "Energy Tax Reform in Time of Crisis - The Case of Energy-Dependent and Open Economies," Working Papers 2016.06, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    9. repec:eee:jeeman:v:92:y:2018:i:c:p:100-124 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:energy:v:159:y:2018:i:c:p:558-568 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)

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