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Announcing Climate Policy: Can a Green Paradox Arise without Scarcity?

  • Sjak Smulders
  • Yacov Tsur
  • Amos Zemel

Unintended consequences of a pre-announced climate policy have been studied in a variety of situations. We show that early announcement of a carbon tax gives rise to a “Green-Paradox,” in that it increases polluting emissions in the interim period (between announcement and actual implementation), irrespective of the scarcity of fossil fuels. The phenomenon holds both when the announced implementation date is taken as a credible threat and when households are skeptical about the (political) will or capability of the government to implement the policy as announced. The paradoxical outcome is driven by consumption-saving tradeoffs facing households who seek to smooth consumption over time.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2010/wp-cesifo-2010-12/cesifo1_wp3307.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3307.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3307
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  1. Michael Hoel, 2011. "The Supply Side of CO 2 with Country Heterogeneity," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(4), pages 846-865, December.
  2. Rick van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2010. "Is There Really a Green Paradox?," OxCarre Working Papers 035, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. van der Werf, Edwin & Di Maria, Corrado, 2012. "Imperfect Environmental Policy and Polluting Emissions: The Green Paradox and Beyond," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 6(2), pages 153-194, March.
  4. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2008. "Public policies against global warming: A supply side approach," Munich Reprints in Economics 19638, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2011. "Carbon Leakage, The Green Paradox, And Perfect Future Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(3), pages 767-805, 08.
  6. Corrado Maria & Edwin Werf, 2008. "Carbon leakage revisited: unilateral climate policy with directed technical change," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(2), pages 55-74, February.
  7. Michael Hoel, 2008. "Bush Meets Hotelling: Effects of Improved Renewable Energy Technology on Greenhouse Gas Emissions," CESifo Working Paper Series 2492, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Smulders, Sjak & Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 2010. "Uncertain Climate Policy and the Green Paradox," Discussion Papers 93129, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
  9. Barrett, Alan & Kearney, Ide & O'Brien, Martin, 2007. "Quarterly Economic Commentary, Summer 2007," Forecasting Report, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number QEC20072, December.
  10. Corrado Di Maria & Sjak Smulders & Edwin van der Werf, 2008. "Absolute Abundance and Relative Scarcity: Announced Policy, Resource Extraction, and Carbon Emissions," Working Papers 2008.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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