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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. 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.
  2. Frederick Van der Ploeg & Cees A. Withagen, 2010. "Is There Really a Green Paradox?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2963, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Corrado Maria & Edwin Werf, 2008. "Carbon leakage revisited: unilateral climate policy with directed technical change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(2), pages 55-74, February.
  4. 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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