IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_5482.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Carbon Tax Burdens on Low-Income Households: A Reason for Delaying Climate Policy?

Author

Listed:
  • Ian Parry

Abstract

This paper discusses techniques for measuring the incidence of carbon taxes across different household income groups and provides some cross-country estimates of these effects for selected advanced countries. The general message of this paper is that distributional concerns should not necessarily hold up carbon pricing. Energy price impacts may be less regressive than often supposed and there are ample opportunities in advanced countries for adjusting tax and benefit schedules to alter the overall incidence of a carbon tax reform. Insofar as possible however, using carbon tax revenues in ways that enhance economic efficiency is critical for containing overall costs to the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Parry, 2015. "Carbon Tax Burdens on Low-Income Households: A Reason for Delaying Climate Policy?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5482, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5482
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp5482.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cornwell, Antonia & Creedy, John, 1997. "Measuring the Welfare Effects of Tax Changes Using the LES: An Application to a Carbon Tax," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 589-613.
    2. James M. Poterba, 1991. "Is the Gasoline Tax Regressive?," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 145-164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Congressional Budget Office, 2013. "The Distribution of Major Tax Expenditures in the Individual Income Tax System," Reports 43768, Congressional Budget Office.
    4. Fullerton Don & Heutel Garth, 2011. "Analytical General Equilibrium Effects of Energy Policy on Output and Factor Prices," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-26, January.
    5. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W.H. Parry & Roberton C. Williams III & Dallas Burtraw, 2002. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Instruments for Environmental Protection in a Second-Best Setting," Chapters, in: Lawrence H. Goulder (ed.), Environmental Policy Making in Economies with Prior Tax Distortions, chapter 27, pages 523-554, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Parry, Ian W. H., 2004. "Are emissions permits regressive?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 364-387, March.
    7. Kevin A. Hassett & Aparna Mathur & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2009. "The Incidence of a U.S. Carbon Tax: A Lifetime and Regional Analysis," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 155-178.
    8. Parry Ian W. H. & Williams Roberton C., 2010. "What are the Costs of Meeting Distributional Objectives for Climate Policy?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-35, December.
    9. Immervoll, Herwig & Richardson, Linda, 2011. "Redistribution Policy and Inequality Reduction in OECD Countries: What Has Changed in Two Decades?," IZA Discussion Papers 6030, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Nicholas Bull & Kevin A. Hassett & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1994. "Who Pays Broad-Based Energy Taxes? Computing Lifetime and Regional Incidence," The Energy Journal, , vol. 15(3), pages 145-164, July.
    11. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Tax Avoidance And The Deadweight Loss Of The Income Tax," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 674-680, November.
    12. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
    13. Böhringer, Christoph & Carbone, Jared C. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2012. "Unilateral climate policy design: Efficiency and equity implications of alternative instruments to reduce carbon leakage," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 208-217.
    14. Parry, Ian W.H. & Williams, Roberton C. III, 2010. "What Are the Costs of Meeting Distributional Objectives in Designing Domestic Climate Policy?," RFF Working Paper Series dp-10-51, Resources for the Future.
    15. Walls, Margaret & Hanson, Jean, 1999. "Distributional Aspects of an Environmental Tax Shift: The Case of Motor Vehicle Emissions Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 52(1), pages 53-65, March.
    16. Espey, James A. & Espey, Molly, 2004. "Turning on the Lights: A Meta-Analysis of Residential Electricity Demand Elasticities," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 65-81, April.
    17. Brannlund, Runar & Nordstrom, Jonas, 2004. "Carbon tax simulations using a household demand model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 211-233, February.
    18. Congressional Budget Office, 2012. "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009," Reports 43373, Congressional Budget Office.
    19. Congressional Budget Office, 2013. "The Distribution of Major Tax Expenditures in the Individual Income Tax System," Reports 43768, Congressional Budget Office.
    20. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination When Countries Differ in Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 877-892, September.
    21. Congressional Budget Office, 2012. "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009," Reports 43373, Congressional Budget Office.
    22. Espey, Molly, 1998. "Gasoline demand revisited: an international meta-analysis of elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 273-295, June.
    23. Christoph Böhringer & Jared C. Carbone & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2012. "Efficiency and Equity Implications of Alternative Instruments to Reduce Carbon Leakage," Working Papers V-346-12, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2012.
    24. Gilbert E. Metcalf & Sergey Paltsev & John Reilly & Henry Jacoby & Jennifer F. Holak, 2008. "Analysis of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Tax Proposals," NBER Working Papers 13980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. 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.
    26. Walls, Margaret & Hanson, Jean, 1999. "Distributional Aspects of an Environmental Tax Shift: The Case of Motor Vehicle Emissions Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 1), pages 53-65, March.
    27. Congressional Budget Office, 2012. "The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009," Reports 43373, Congressional Budget Office.
    28. Sterner, Thomas, 2012. "Distributional effects of taxing transport fuel," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 75-83.
    29. Congressional Budget Office, 2013. "The Distribution of Major Tax Expenditures in the Individual Income Tax System," Reports 43768, Congressional Budget Office.
    30. Wier, Mette & Birr-Pedersen, Katja & Jacobsen, Henrik Klinge & Klok, Jacob, 2005. "Are CO2 taxes regressive? Evidence from the Danish experience," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 239-251, January.
    31. Casler, Stephen D. & Rafiqui, Aisha, 1993. "Evaluating Fuel Tax Equity: Direct and Indirect Distributional Effects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 197-205, June.
    32. Dinan, Terry & Rogers, Diane Lim, 2002. "Distributional Effects of Carbon AllowanceTrading: How Government Decisions Determine Winners and Losers," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(N. 2), pages 199-221, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Hänsel, Martin C. & Franks, Max & Kalkuhl, Matthias & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2022. "Optimal carbon taxation and horizontal equity: A welfare-theoretic approach with application to German household data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    2. Julie Anne Cronin & Don Fullerton & Steven Sexton, 2019. "Vertical and Horizontal Redistributions from a Carbon Tax and Rebate," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(S1), pages 169-208.
    3. Lucas Bretschger & Karen Pittel, 2020. "Twenty Key Challenges in Environmental and Resource Economics," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 77(4), pages 725-750, December.
    4. Nils Ohlendorf & Michael Jakob & Jan Christoph Minx & Carsten Schröder & Jan Christoph Steckel, 2021. "Distributional Impacts of Carbon Pricing: A Meta-Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 78(1), pages 1-42, January.
    5. Nils Ohlendorf & Michael Jakob & Jan Christoph Minx & Carsten Schröder & Jan Christoph Steckel, 2018. "Distributional Impacts of Climate Mitigation Policies - a Meta-Analysis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1776, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Leif Jacobs & Lara Quack & Mario Mechtel, 2021. "Distributional Effects of Carbon Pricing by Transport Fuel Taxation," Working Paper Series in Economics 405, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    7. Teixidó, Jordi J. & Verde, Stefano F., 2017. "Is the Gasoline Tax Regressive in the Twenty-First Century? Taking Wealth into Account," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 109-125.
    8. Lucas Bretschger & Karen Pittel, 2019. "Twenty Key Questions in Environmental and Resource Economics," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 19/328, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    9. Wang, Qian & Hubacek, Klaus & Feng, Kuishuang & Guo, Lin & Zhang, Kun & Xue, Jinjun & Liang, Qiao-Mei, 2019. "Distributional impact of carbon pricing in Chinese provinces," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 327-340.
    10. Wang, Qian & Hubacek, Klaus & Feng, Kuishuang & Wei, Yi-Ming & Liang, Qiao-Mei, 2016. "Distributional effects of carbon taxation," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 1123-1131.
    11. Runst, Petrik & Thonipara, Anita, 2019. "Dosis facit effectum: Why the scope of the carbon tax matters - Evidence from the Swedish residential sector," ifh Working Papers 19/2019, Volkswirtschaftliches Institut für Mittelstand und Handwerk an der Universität Göttingen (ifh).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Nils Ohlendorf & Michael Jakob & Jan Christoph Minx & Carsten Schröder & Jan Christoph Steckel, 2018. "Distributional Impacts of Climate Mitigation Policies - a Meta-Analysis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1776, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Nils Ohlendorf & Michael Jakob & Jan Christoph Minx & Carsten Schröder & Jan Christoph Steckel, 2021. "Distributional Impacts of Carbon Pricing: A Meta-Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 78(1), pages 1-42, January.
    3. Parry, Ian & Walls, Margaret & Sigman, Hilary & Williams III, Roberton, 2005. "The Incidence of Pollution Control Policies," RFF Working Paper Series dp-05-24, Resources for the Future.
    4. Cludius, Johanna & Beznoska, Martin & Steiner, Viktor, 2012. "Distributional effects of the European Emissions Trading System and the role of revenue recycling: Empirical evidence from combined industry- and household-level data," Discussion Papers 2012/6, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    5. Joshua Blonz & Dallas Burtraw & Margaret Walls, 2012. "Social safety nets and US climate policy costs," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 474-490, July.
    6. Parry, Ian, 2015. "Designing Fiscal Policy to Address the External Costs of Energy," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 8(1), pages 1-56, May.
    7. Rausch, Sebastian & Schwarz, Giacomo A., 2016. "Household heterogeneity, aggregation, and the distributional impacts of environmental taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 43-57.
    8. Martin Beznoska & Johanna Cludius & Viktor Steiner, 2012. "The Incidence of the European Union Emissions Trading System and the Role of Revenue Recycling: Empirical Evidence from Combined Industry- and Household-Level Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1227, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Ian Parry & Baoping Shang & Nate Vernon & Philippe Wingender & Tarun Narasimhan, 2020. "Evaluating policies to implement the Paris Agreement: a toolkit with application to China," Chapters, in: Graciela Chichilnisky & Armon Rezai (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Climate Change, chapter 2, pages 32-67, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Justin Caron & Jefferson Cole & Richard Goettle & Chikara Onda & James Mcfarland & Jared Woollacott, 2018. "Distributional Implications Of A National Co2 Tax In The U.S. Across Income Classes And Regions: A Multi-Model Overview," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 9(01), pages 1-32, February.
    11. Gonzalez, Fidel, 2012. "Distributional effects of carbon taxes: The case of Mexico," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 2102-2115.
    12. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2014. "Shedding light on the appropriateness of the (high) gasoline tax level in Germany," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 189-210.
    13. García-Muros, Xaquín & Morris, Jennifer & Paltsev, Sergey, 2022. "Toward a just energy transition: A distributional analysis of low-carbon policies in the USA," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C).
    14. Roberton C. Williams III & Hal Gordon & Dallas Burtraw & Jared C. Carbone & Richard D. Morgenstern, 2015. "The Initial Incidence of a Carbon Tax Across Income Groups," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 68(1), pages 195-214, March.
    15. Parry Ian W. H. & Williams Roberton C., 2010. "What are the Costs of Meeting Distributional Objectives for Climate Policy?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-35, December.
    16. Epanchin-Niell, Rebecca S. & Wilen, James E., 2010. "Optimal control of spatial-dynamic processes: The case of biological invasions," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61375, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    17. Alvarez, Maximiliano, 2019. "Distributional effects of environmental taxation: An approximation with a meta-regression analysis," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 382-401.
    18. Semet, Raphaël, 2024. "Coordinating social equity and emissions: Challenges in carbon tax policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 185(C).
    19. Rausch Sebastian & Metcalf Gilbert E. & Reilly John M & Paltsev Sergey, 2010. "Distributional Implications of Alternative U.S. Greenhouse Gas Control Measures," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-46, July.
    20. Peter Grösche & Carsten Schröder, 2014. "On the redistributive effects of Germany’s feed-in tariff," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 1339-1383, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    carbon tax; distributional incidence; fiscal reform; climate change; revenue recycling;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

    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:ces:ceswps:_5482. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Klaus Wohlrabe (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.