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From Shadow to Green: Linking Environmental Fiscal Reforms and the Informal Economy

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  • Mikel González-Eguino
  • Anil Markandya
  • Marta Escapa

Abstract

In the past few decades many papers have analysed in some depth different environmental tax reforms and the double dividend hypothesis, i.e. the possibility of improving not only the environment but also the economy through the reduction of distortions in the tax system. Recently, more stress has been placed on testing empirically what effects a reduction in labour taxes may have on unemployment when accompanied by a carbon or other environmental tax. However, such studies have not modelled the effects of the presence of a shadow economy, even though informal markets account for a significant and growing part of GDP in many developed economies. This paper analyses this link using an Applied General Equilibrium model for the case of Spain, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world and one of the biggest informal economies of any wealthy country. We conclude that our analysis strengthens the case for an environmental tax reform in Spain if revenues from a CO2 tax are recycled via a labour tax reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Mikel González-Eguino & Anil Markandya & Marta Escapa, 2012. "From Shadow to Green: Linking Environmental Fiscal Reforms and the Informal Economy," Working Papers 2012-03, BC3.
  • Handle: RePEc:bcc:wpaper:2012-03
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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Böhringer, Xaquin Garcia-Muros, and Mikel González-Eguino, 2019. "Greener and Fairer: A Progressive Environmental Tax Reform for Spain," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    2. Xavier Labandeira & José M. Labeaga & Xiral López-Otero, 2019. "New Green Tax Reforms: Ex-Ante Assessments for Spain," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(20), pages 1-25, October.
    3. Hany M. Elshamy & Khaled I. Sayed Ahmed, 2017. "Green Fiscal Reforms, Environment and Sustainable Development," International Journal of Applied Economics, Finance and Accounting, Online Academic Press, vol. 1(1), pages 48-52.
    4. Maruf Rahman Maxim, 2020. "Environmental fiscal reform and the possibility of triple dividend in European and non-European countries: evidence from a meta-regression analysis," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 22(4), pages 633-656, October.
    5. Maruf Rahman Maxim & Kerstin Zander, 2019. "Can a Green Tax Reform Entail Employment Double Dividend in European and non-European Countries? A Survey of the Empirical Evidence," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 9(3), pages 218-228.
    6. Mardones, Cristian & Mena, Camilo, 2020. "Effects of the internalization of the social cost of global and local air pollutants in Chile," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    7. Antal, Miklós, 2014. "Green goals and full employment: Are they compatible?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 276-286.
    8. Andualem Telaye Mengistu & Pablo Benitez & Seneshaw Tamru & Haileselassie Medhin & Michael Toman, 2019. "Exploring Carbon Pricing in Developing Countries: A Macroeconomic Analysis in Ethiopia," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(16), pages 1-21, August.
    9. Fuss, Sabine & Chen, Claudine & Jakob, Michael & Marxen, Annika & Rao, Narasimha D. & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2016. "Could resource rents finance universal access to infrastructure? A first exploration of needs and rents," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(6), pages 691-712, December.
    10. Cristina Fernández & Leonardo Villar & Nicolás Gómez, 2017. "Taxonomía de la informalidad en América Latina," Coyuntura Económica, Fedesarrollo, vol. 47(1 y 2), pages 137-167, December.
    11. Kurt Kratena & Mark Sommer, 2014. "Labour Market Policy and Environmental Fiscal Devaluation: A Cure for Spain in the Aftermath of the Great Recession?," WIFO Working Papers 476, WIFO.
    12. Anil Markandya & Mikel González- Eguino & Marta Escapa, 2012. "Environmental fiscal reform and unemployment in Spain," Chapters, in: Larry Kreiser & Ana Yábar Sterling & Pedro Herrera & Janet E. Milne & Hope Ashiabor (ed.), Carbon Pricing, Growth and the Environment, chapter 1, pages 3-16, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Dorband, Ira Irina & Jakob, Michael & Kalkuhl, Matthias & Steckel, Jan Christoph, 2019. "Poverty and distributional effects of carbon pricing in low- and middle-income countries – A global comparative analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 246-257.
    14. Zhengda Li & Wanping Yang & Chengjun Wang & Yuesheng Zhang & Xiaoling Yuan, 2019. "Guided High-Quality Development, Resources, and Environmental Forcing in China’s Green Development," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(7), pages 1-18, April.
    15. Jan Siegmeier & Linus Mattauch & Max Franks & David Klenert & Anselm Schultes & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2015. "A Public Finance Perspective on Climate Policy: Six Interactions That May Enhance Welfare," Working Papers 2015.31, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    16. Rong Wang & Juan Moreno-Cruz & Ken Caldeira, 2017. "Will the use of a carbon tax for revenue generation produce an incentive to continue carbon emissions?," Post-Print hal-03226925, HAL.
    17. Xaquín Garcia-Muros & Mercedes Burguillo & Mikel Gonzalez-Eguino & Desiderio Romero-Jordán, 2014. "Local air pollution and global climate change taxes: a distributional analysis," Working Papers 2014-01, BC3.
    18. Ibon Galarraga & Mikel Gonzalez-Eguino & Dirk T. G. Rübbelke, 2016. "Environmental Economics, Climate Change Policy and Beyond: A Tribute to Anil Markandya," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(2), pages 219-224, February.
    19. Goel, Rajeev K. & Saunoris, James W., 2020. "Spatial spillovers of pollution onto the underground sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    20. de Wit, Jaap G., 2014. "Unlevel playing field? Ah yes, you mean protectionism," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 22-29.
    21. Ceyhun Elgin & Ferda Erturk, 2019. "Informal economies around the world: measures, determinants and consequences," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 9(2), pages 221-237, June.

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    Keywords

    Environmental fiscal reform; double dividend hypothesis; shadow economy; unemployment; general equilibrium analysis; Spain;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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