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Growth and the Optimal Carbon Tax: When to Switch from Exhaustible Resources to Renewables?

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  • van der Ploeg, Frederick
  • Withagen, Cees

Abstract

Optimal climate policy is studied in a Ramsey growth model. A developing economy weighs global warming less, hence is more likely to exhaust fossil fuel and exacerbate global warming. The optimal carbon tax is higher for a developed economy. We analyze the optimal time of transition from fossil fuel to renewables, amount of fossil fuel to leave in situ, and carbon tax. Subsidizing a backstop without an optimal carbon tax induces more fossil fuel to be left in situ and a quicker phasing in of renewables, but fossil fuel is depleted more quickly. Global warming need thus not be alleviated.

Suggested Citation

  • van der Ploeg, Frederick & Withagen, Cees, 2011. "Growth and the Optimal Carbon Tax: When to Switch from Exhaustible Resources to Renewables?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8215, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8215
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pittel, Karen & Röpke, Luise, 2014. "The Implications of Energy Input Flexibility for a Resource Dependent Economy," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100321, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Tomoyuki Sakamoto & Shunsuke Managi, 2016. "Optimal economic growth and energy policy: analysis of nonrenewable and renewable energy," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(1), pages 1-19, January.
    3. Kögel, Tomas, 2011. "The social cost of carbon on an optimal balanced growth path," Economics Discussion Papers 2011-35, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Haradhan Kumar Mohajan, 2011. "Optimal Environmental Taxes Due to Health Effect," KASBIT Business Journals, Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology (KASBIT), vol. 4, pages 1-19, December.
    5. van der Ploeg, Frederick & Withagen, Cees, 2012. "Too much coal, too little oil," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 62-77.
    6. Partha Sen, 2016. "Unilateral Emission Cuts and Carbon Leakages in a Dynamic North–South Trade Model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(1), pages 131-152, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    carbon tax; exhaustible resources; global warming; Green Paradox; growth; intergenerational inequality aversion; renewables; second best;

    JEL classification:

    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical

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