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Public Policies against Global Warming

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  • Hans-Werner Sinn

Abstract

Judged by the principle of intertemporal Pareto optimality, insecure property rights and the greenhouse effect both imply overly rapid extraction of fossil carbon resources. A gradual expansion of demand-reducing public policies – such as increasing ad-valorem taxes on carbon consumption or increasing subsidies for replacement technologies – may exacerbate the problem as it gives resource owners the incentive to avoid future price reductions by anticipating their sales. Useful policies instead involve sequestration, afforestation, stabilization of property rights and emissions trading. Among the public finance measures, constant unit carbon taxes and source taxes on capital income for resource owners stand out.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans-Werner Sinn, 2007. "Public Policies against Global Warming," CESifo Working Paper Series 2087, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2087
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2087.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Global Environment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 851-874, September.
    2. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2007. "Pareto Optimality in the Extraction of Fossil Fuels and the Greenhouse Effect: A Note," NBER Working Papers 13453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Friedrich Wu, 2006. "What Could Brake China’s Rapid Ascent in the World Economy?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 7(3), pages 63-87, July.
    5. Robert T. Deacon & Henning Bohn, 2000. "Ownership Risk, Investment, and the Use of Natural Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 526-549, June.
    6. Khalatbari, Firauzeh, 1977. "Market Imperfections and the Optimum Rate of Depletion of Natural Resources," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 44(176), pages 409-414, November.
    7. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1984. "Common Property Resources, Storage Facilities and Ownership Structures: A Cournot Model of the Oil Market," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 51(23), pages 235-252, August.
    8. Howitt, Peter & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1989. "Gradual Reforms of Capital Income Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 106-124, March.
    9. William D. Nordhaus, 2006. "The "Stern Review" on the Economics of Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 12741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. R. M. Solow, 1974. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustible Resources," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 29-45.
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    12. Konrad Kai A. & Olsen Trond E. & Schob Ronnie, 1994. "Resource Extraction and the Threat of Possible Expropriation: The Role of Swiss Bank Accounts," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 149-162, March.
    13. Long, Ngo Van, 1975. "Resource extraction under the uncertainty about possible nationalization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 42-53, February.
    14. Sir Ian Byatt & Bob Carter & Ian Castles & Chris de Freitas & Indur M. Goklany & David Henderson & David Holland & Lord Lawson of Blaby & Richard S. Lindzen & Ross McKitrick & Julian Morris & Sir Alan, 2006. "The Stern Review: A Dual Critique," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 7(4), pages 165-232, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    global warming; carbon taxes; Pareto optimality;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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