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Why Europe has become environmentally cleaner: Decomposing the roles of fiscal, trade and environmental policies

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  • López, Ramón
  • Palacios, Amparo

Abstract

This paper systematically examines the role of fiscal policy, trade and energy taxes on environmental quality in Europe using disaggregated data for 12 European countries over the 1995-2008 period. It uses a methodology that obtains estimates mostly free of time-varying omitted variable biases. Controlling for the scale effect, our estimations show that fiscal policies and energy taxes are effective in reducing the concentration of certain pollutants through different mechanisms. We also find that trade has a direct effect on production pollutants, which is most likely due to an output composition effect, but not on consumption pollutants. Increasing the share of fiscal spending and shifting the emphasis of fiscal spending towards public goods and against non-social subsidies has a surprising and unintended beneficial effect on the concentrations of ozone, perhaps the most difficult to control pollutant. Finally, energy taxes appear to have an important effect in reducing nitrogen dioxide pollution but it has no effect on ozone and sulfur dioxide.

Suggested Citation

  • López, Ramón & Palacios, Amparo, 2011. "Why Europe has become environmentally cleaner: Decomposing the roles of fiscal, trade and environmental policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 8551, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8551
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gregmar Galinato & Suzette Galinato, 2013. "The Role of Government Spending on Deforestation and Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Land Use Change," Working Papers 2013-14, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
    2. Galinato, Gregmar I. & Islam, Asif, 2017. "The challenge of addressing consumption pollutants with fiscal policy," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(5), pages 624-647, October.
    3. Lu, Hongyou & Xu, Wenli & Xu, Kun, 2016. "How to Make The Fiscal policies Greener in China?——Based on The Perspective of Environmental Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 70221, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Islam, Asif M. & López, Ramón E., 2015. "Government Spending and Air Pollution in the US," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 8(2), pages 139-189, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    government spending; pollutions; public goods; taxes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth

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