IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bos/iedwpr/dp-313.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Making Carbon Taxation A Generational Win Win

Author

Listed:
  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

    () (Boston University and NBER)

  • Felix Kubler

    () (University of Zurich and Swiss Financial Institute)

  • Andrey Polbin

    () (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration and The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy)

  • Jeffrey D. Sachs

    () (Columbia University and NBER)

  • Simon Scheidegger

    () (University of Lausanne)

Abstract

Carbon taxation has been studied primarily in social planner or infinitely lived agent models, which trade off the welfare of future and current generations. Such frameworks obscure the potential for carbon taxation to produce a generational win-win. This paper develops a largescale, dynamic 55-period, OLG model to calculate the carbon tax policy delivering the highest uniform welfare gain to all generations. The OLG framework, with its selfish generations, seems far more natural for studying climate damage. Our model features coal, oil, and gas, each extracted subject to increasing costs, a clean energy sector, technical and demographic change, and Nordhaus (2017)’s temperature/damage functions. Our model’s optimal uniform welfare increasing (UWI) carbon tax starts at $30 tax, rises annually at 1.5 percent and raises the welfare of all current and future generations by 0.73 percent on a consumption-equivalent basis. Sharing efficiency gains evenly requires, however, taxing future generations by as much as 8.1 percent and subsidizing early generations by as much as 1.2 percent of lifetime consumption. Without such redistribution (the Nordhaus “optimum†), the carbon tax constitutes a win-lose policy with current generations experiencing an up to 0.84 percent welfare loss and future generations experiencing an up to 7.54 percent welfare gain. With a six-times larger damage function, the optimal UWI initial carbon tax is $70, again rising annually at 1.5 percent. This policy raises all generations’ welfare by almost 5 percent. However, doing so requires levying taxes on and giving transfers to future and current generations ranging up to 50.1 percent and 10.3 percent of their lifetime consumption. Delaying carbon policy, for 20 years, reduces efficiency gains roughly in half.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Felix Kubler & Andrey Polbin & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Simon Scheidegger, 2019. "Making Carbon Taxation A Generational Win Win," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-313, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:iedwpr:dp-313
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://kotlikoff.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Making-Carbon-Taxation-a-Generational-Win-Win-4-17-19.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Leonardo Bursztyn & David Hemous, 2012. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 131-166, February.
    2. Gurgel, Angelo Costa & Paltsev, Sergey & Reilly, John & Metcalf, Gilbert, 2011. "An analysis of US greenhouse gas cap-and-trade proposals using a forward-looking economic model," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 155-176, April.
    3. Sebastian Rausch & Hidemichi Yonezawa, 2018. "The Intergenerational Incidence Of Green Tax Reform," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 9(01), pages 1-25, February.
    4. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2014. "Using the Tax System to Address Competition Issues With a Carbon Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 67(4), pages 779-806, December.
    5. Howarth, Richard B., 1991. "Intergenerational competitive equilibria under technological uncertainty and an exhaustible resource constraint," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 225-243, November.
    6. Zili Yang, 2008. "Strategic Bargaining and Cooperation in Greenhouse Gas Mitigations: An Integrated Assessment Modeling Approach," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262240548, December.
    7. Nordhaus, William D & Yang, Zili, 1996. "A Regional Dynamic General-Equilibrium Model of Alternative Climate-Change Strategies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 741-765, September.
    8. van der Zwaan, B. C. C. & Gerlagh, R. & G. & Klaassen & Schrattenholzer, L., 2002. "Endogenous technological change in climate change modelling," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-19, January.
    9. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    10. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2010. "Investment in Energy Infrastructure and the Tax Code," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 24, pages 1-33, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence Kotlikoff, 2003. "The Developed World's Demographic Transition - The Roles of Capital Flows, Immigration, and Policy," NBER Working Papers 10096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Seth G. Benzell & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Guillermo LaGarda, 2017. "Simulating Business Cash Flow Taxation: An Illustration Based on the “Better Way” Corporate Tax Reform," NBER Working Papers 23675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Popp, David, 2004. "ENTICE: endogenous technological change in the DICE model of global warming," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 742-768, July.
    14. Richard B. Howarth, 1998. "An Overlapping Generations Model of Climate‐Economy Interactions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(3), pages 575-591, September.
    15. Howarth, Richard B., 1991. "Intertemporal equilibria and exhaustible resources: an overlapping generations approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 237-252, December.
    16. Axel Börsch‐Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2006. "Ageing, Pension Reform and Capital Flows: A Multi‐Country Simulation Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(292), pages 625-658, November.
    17. Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Smetters, Kent & Walliser, Jan, 2007. "Mitigating America's demographic dilemma by pre-funding social security," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 247-266, March.
    18. John, A & Pecchenino, R, 1994. "An Overlapping Generations Model of Growth and the Environment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1393-1410, November.
    19. Marini Giancarlo & Scaramozzino Pasquale, 1995. "Overlapping Generations and Environmental Control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 64-77, July.
    20. Tobias Rasmussen, 2003. "Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Abatement: An Overlapping Generations Perspective," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 99-119, January.
    21. Manne, Alan & Mendelsohn, Robert & Richels, Richard, 1995. "MERGE : A model for evaluating regional and global effects of GHG reduction policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 17-34, January.
    22. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John Sabelhaus, 1996. "Understanding the Postwar Decline in U.S. Saving: A Cohort Analysis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 315-407.
    23. Larry Karp & Armon Rezai, 2014. "The Political Economy Of Environmental Policy With Overlapping Generations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55, pages 711-733, August.
    24. Rausch, Sebastian & Metcalf, Gilbert E. & Reilly, John M., 2011. "Distributional impacts of carbon pricing: A general equilibrium approach with micro-data for households," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(S1), pages 20-33.
    25. John, A. & Pecchenino, R. & Schimmelpfennig, D. & Schreft, S., 1995. "Short-lived agents and the long-lived environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 127-141, September.
    26. Robert S. Pindyck, 2013. "Climate Change Policy: What Do the Models Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 860-872, September.
    27. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2012. "The Green Paradox: A Supply-Side Approach to Global Warming," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262016680, December.
    28. Howarth, Richard B & Norgaard, Richard B, 1992. "Environmental Valuation under Sustainable Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 473-477, May.
    29. Bernheim, B Douglas & Bagwell, Kyle, 1988. "Is Everything Neutral?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 308-338, April.
    30. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1997. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1121-1166, December.
    31. Solow, Robert M, 1974. "The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 1-14, May.
    32. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Andrey Polbin & Andrey Zubarev, 2016. "Will the Paris Accord Accelerate Climate Change?," NBER Working Papers 22731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    33. Tol, Richard S. J., 2002. "Welfare specifications and optimal control of climate change: an application of fund," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 367-376, July.
    34. Frederick van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2015. "Global Warming and the Green Paradox: A Review of Adverse Effects of Climate Policies," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(2), pages 285-303.
    35. Derek Lemoine & Christian Traeger, 2014. "Watch Your Step: Optimal Policy in a Tipping Climate," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 137-166, February.
    36. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-1198, December.
    37. Gerlagh, Reyer & Keyzer, Michiel A., 2001. "Sustainability and the intergenerational distribution of natural resource entitlements," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 315-341, February.
    38. Jeffrey A. Krautkraemer & JRaymond G. Batina, 1999. "On Sustainability and Intergenerational Transfers with a Renewable Resource," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(2), pages 167-184.
    39. A. Bovenberg & Ben Heijdra, 2002. "Environmental Abatement and Intergenerational Distribution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 45-84, September.
    40. Gerlagh, Reyer & van der Zwaan, B. C. C., 2001. "The effects of ageing and an environmental trust fund in an overlapping generations model on carbon emission reductions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 311-326, February.
    41. Yongyang Cai & Kenneth L. Judd & Thomas S. Lontzek, 2013. "The Social Cost of Stochastic and Irreversible Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 18704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    42. Thierry Bréchet & François Gerard & Henry Tulkens, 2011. "Efficiency vs. Stability in Climate Coalitions: A Conceptual and Computational Appraisal," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 49-76.
    43. Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 533-544, September.
    44. Calvo, Guillermo A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1988. "Optimal Time-Consistent Fiscal Policy with Finite Lifetimes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 411-432, March.
    45. Hayashi, Fumio & Altonji, Joseph & Kotlikoff, Laurence, 1996. "Risk-Sharing between and within Families," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 261-294, March.
    46. Burton Peter S., 1993. "Intertemporal Preferences and Intergenerational Equity Considerations in Optimal Resource Harvesting," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 119-132, March.
    47. Yongyang Cai & William Brock & Anastasios Xepapadeas & Kenneth Judd, 2018. "Climate Policy under Cooperation and Competition between Regions with Spatial Heat Transport," NBER Working Papers 24473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    48. Wendner, Ronald, 2001. "An applied dynamic general equilibrium model of environmental tax reforms and pension policy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 25-50, January.
    49. Howarth, Richard B, 1998. " An Overlapping Generations Model of Climate-Economy Interactions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(3), pages 575-591, September.
    50. Heijdra, Ben J. & Kooiman, Jan Peter & Ligthart, Jenny E., 2006. "Environmental quality, the macroeconomy, and intergenerational distribution," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 74-104, January.
    51. Seth G. Benzell & Eugene Goryunov & Maria Kazakova & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Guillermo LaGarda & Kristina Nesterova & Andrey Zubarev, 2015. "Simulating Russia’s and Other Large Economies’ Challenging and Interconnected Transitions," NBER Working Papers 21269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    52. Mourmouras, Alex, 1993. "Conservationist government policies and intergenerational equity in an overlapping generations model with renewable resources," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 249-268, June.
    53. Ortiz, Ramon Arigoni & Golub, Alexander & Lugovoy, Oleg & Markandya, Anil & Wang, James, 2011. "DICER: A tool for analyzing climate policies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(S1), pages 41-49.
    54. Yongyang Cai & Kenneth L. Judd & Thomas S. Lontzek, 2012. "Continuous-Time Methods for Integrated Assessment Models," NBER Working Papers 18365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    55. Mikhail Golosov & John Hassler & Per Krusell & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2014. "Optimal Taxes on Fossil Fuel in General Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(1), pages 41-88, January.
    56. Endress, Lee H. & Pongkijvorasin, Sittidaj & Roumasset, James & Wada, Christopher A., 2014. "Intergenerational equity with individual impatience in a model of optimal and sustainable growth," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 620-635.
    57. Bovenberg, A. Lans & Heijdra, Ben J., 1998. "Environmental tax policy and intergenerational distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-24, January.
    58. Ansuategi, Alberto & Escapa, Marta, 2002. "Economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 23-37, January.
    59. Mourmouras, Alex, 1991. " Competitive Equilibria and Sustainable Growth in a Life-Cycle Model with Natural Resources," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(4), pages 585-591.
    60. William Nordhaus, 2015. "Climate Clubs: Overcoming Free-Riding in International Climate Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1339-1370, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Making Carbon Taxation a Generational Win Win
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2019-05-02 17:49:32

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Andersen, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Liu, Pan, 2020. "Resolving intergenerational conflict over the environment under the Pareto criterion," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
    2. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Felix Kubler & Andrey Polbin & Simon Scheidegger, 2020. "Pareto-Improving Carbon-Risk Taxation," NBER Working Papers 26919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Wolfgang Pointner & Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald, 2019. "Climate change as a risk to financial stability," Financial Stability Report, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 38, pages 30-45.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bos:iedwpr:dp-313. 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: (Program Coordinator). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/decbuus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.