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Global Welfare Implications of Carbon Border Taxes

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  • Daniel Gros

Abstract

This paper presents a simple, basic model to compute the welfare consequences of the introduction of a tariff on the CO2 content of imported goods in a country that already imposes a domestic carbon tax. The main finding is that the introduction of a carbon import tariff increases global welfare (and not just the welfare of the importing country) if there is no (or insufficient) pricing of carbon abroad. A higher domestic price of carbon justifies a higher import tariff. Moreover, a higher relative intensity of carbon abroad increases the desirability of high import tariff imposed by the home country because a border tax shifts production to the importing country, which in this case leads to lower environmental costs. If both instruments are used to maximise global welfare, the optimal domestic price for carbon should be higher than the external effects (assuming that there is no carbon pricing in the rest of the world) and the optimal tariff rate would be somewhat lower than the domestic carbon price. If the importing country has a fixed ceiling on emissions instead of a constant carbon price (as provided under the EU’s Emissions Trading System), an import tariff is always beneficial from a global point of view and its imposition lowers the price of domestic allowances, but less than proportionally.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Gros, 2009. "Global Welfare Implications of Carbon Border Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 2790, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2790
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2790.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grossman, Gene M., 1980. "Border tax adjustments: Do they distort trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 117-128, February.
    2. Warwick J. McKibbin & Peter J. Wilcoxen, 2009. "The Economic And Environmental Effects Of Border Tax Adjustments For Climate Policy," CAMA Working Papers 2009-09, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    3. Philippe Quirion & Damien Demailly, 2006. "Leakage from climate policies and border tax adjustment:lessons from a geographic model of the cement industry," CIRED Working Papers halshs-00009337, HAL.
    4. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2008. "Public policies against global warming: a supply side approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, pages 360-394.
    5. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Steve Charnovitz & Jisun Kim, 2009. "Global Warming and the World Trading System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4280.
    6. Paul Veenendaal & Ton Manders, 2008. "Border tax adjustment and the EU-ETS, a quantitative assessment," CPB Document 171, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Keen, Michael & Kotsogiannis, Christos, 2014. "Coordinating climate and trade policies: Pareto efficiency and the role of border tax adjustments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 119-128.
    2. Daniel Becker & Magdalena Brzeskot & Wolfgang Peters & Ulrike Will, 2013. "Grenzausgleichsinstrumente bei unilateralen Klimaschutzmaßnahmen. Eine ökonomische und WTO-rechtliche Analyse," ZfU - Zeitschrift für Umweltpolitik und Umweltrecht, RECAP15, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), vol. 36(3), pages 339-373, September.
    3. Böhringer, Christoph & Bye, Brita & Fæhn, Taran & Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2012. "Alternative designs for tariffs on embodied carbon: A global cost-effectiveness analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 143-153.
    4. Gori, Giuseppe Francesco & Lambertini, Luca, 2013. "Trade liberalisation between asymmetric countries with environmentally concerned consumers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 549-560.
    5. Bao, Qin & Tang, Ling & Zhang, ZhongXiang & Wang, Shouyang, 2013. "Impacts of border carbon adjustments on China's sectoral emissions: Simulations with a dynamic computable general equilibrium model," China Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 77-94.
    6. Christoph Böhringer & André Müller & Jan Schneider, 2015. "Carbon Tariffs Revisited," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, pages 629-672.
    7. Astrid KRENZ, "undated". "Modeling the Interaction Between Industries and Services Sectors´ Agglomeration in the European Union," EcoMod2010 259600098, EcoMod.
    8. repec:euv:dpaper:9999 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ling Tang & Qin Bao & ZhongXiang Zhang & Shouyang Wang, 2015. "Carbon-based border tax adjustments and China’s international trade: analysis based on a dynamic computable general equilibrium model," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 17(2), pages 329-360, April.
    10. Ghosh, Madanmohan & Luo, Deming & Siddiqui, Muhammad Shahid & Zhu, Yunfa, 2012. "Border tax adjustments in the climate policy context: CO2 versus broad-based GHG emission targeting," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 154-167.
    11. Bao, Qin & Tang, Ling & Zhang, ZhingXiang & Qiao, Han & Wang, Shouyang, 2012. "Impact of Border Carbon Adjustments on China’s Sectoral Emissions: Simulations with a Dynamic Computable General Equilibirum Model," Working Papers 249391, Australian National University, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy.
    12. Xiao Chen & Alan Woodland, 2013. "International trade and climate change," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(3), pages 381-413, June.
    13. Wang, Mingzheng & Liu, Junling & Chan, Hau-Ling & Choi, Tsan-Ming & Yue, Xiaohang, 2016. "Effects of carbon tariffs trading policy on duopoly market entry decisions and price competition: Insights from textile firms of developing countries," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 181(PB), pages 470-484.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    carbon tax; tariffs; global welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General

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