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

  • van der Ploeg, Frederick
  • Withagen, Cees

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.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8215.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8215
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  1. Michael Hoel, 2008. "Bush Meets Hotelling: Effects of Improved Renewable Energy Technology on Greenhouse Gas Emissions," CESifo Working Paper Series 2492, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Leonardo Bursztyn & David Hemous, 2012. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 131-66, February.
  3. Bovenberg, A.L. & Smulders, J.A., 1996. "Transitional impacts of environmental policy in an endogenous growth model," Other publications TiSEM e002b2ed-f04f-4ffc-98f8-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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  7. Golosov, Mikhail & Hassler, John & Krusell, Per & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2011. "Optimal taxes on fossil fuel in general equilibrium," CEPR Discussion Papers 8527, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
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  11. Valentina Bosetti & Carlo Carraro & Romain Duval & Alessandra Sgobbi & Massimo Tavoni, 2009. "The Role of R&D and Technology Diffusion in Climate Change Mitigation: New Perspectives Using the Witch Model," Working Papers 2009.14, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  12. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2007. "Public Policies against Global Warming," NBER Working Papers 13454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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