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The impacts of climate change levy on business: evidence from microdata

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  • Martin, Ralf
  • Wagner, Ulrich J.
  • de Preux, Laure B.

Abstract

We estimate the impacts of an energy tax – the Climate Change Levy (CCL) – on the manufacturing sector using panel data from the UK production census. Our identification strategy builds on the comparison of trends in outcomes between plants subject to the CCL and plants that were granted an 80% discount on the levy after joining a so-called Climate Change Agreement (CCA). Since the CCAs stipulate specific targets for energy usage or carbon emissions, this comparison yields a lower bound on the impact of the discount. To address a likely selection endogeneity in CCA participation, we adopt an IV approach that exploits exogenous variation in pollution discharges that determined eligibility for CCA participation. We find robust evidence that CCA participation had a strong positive impact on growth in both energy intensity and energy expenditures. An analysis of fuel choices at the plant level reveals that this effect is mainly driven by stronger growth in electricity use and translates into a positive impact on CO2 emissions. We do not find any statistically significant impacts of the tax on employment, gross output or total factor productivity. We conclude that, had the CCL been implemented at full rate for all businesses, further cuts in energy use of substantial magnitude could have been achieved without jeopardizing economic performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin, Ralf & Wagner, Ulrich J. & de Preux, Laure B., 2009. "The impacts of climate change levy on business: evidence from microdata," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28592, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28592
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barker, Terry & Ekins, Paul & Foxon, Tim, 2007. "Macroeconomic effects of efficiency policies for energy-intensive industries: The case of the UK Climate Change Agreements, 2000-2010," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 760-778, July.
    2. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-475, March.
    4. Lucas W. Davis & Lutz Kilian, 2011. "Estimating the effect of a gasoline tax on carbon emissions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(7), pages 1187-1214, November.
    5. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Program," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 569-606, June.
    6. Michael Greenstone, 2002. "The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Industrial Activity: Evidence from the 1970 and 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments and the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1175-1219, December.
    7. James J. Heckman, 1999. "Instrumental Variables: Response to Angrist and Imbens," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 828-837.
    8. Ekins, Paul & Etheridge, Ben, 2006. "The environmental and economic impacts of the UK climate change agreements," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(15), pages 2071-2086, October.
    9. Pearce, David, 2006. "The political economy of an energy tax: The United Kingdom's Climate Change Levy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 149-158, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marianne Fay & Stephane Hallegatte & Adrien Vogt-Schilb & Julie Rozenberg & Ulf Narloch & Tom Kerr, 2015. "Decarbonizing Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21842, September.
    2. Napp, T.A. & Gambhir, A. & Hills, T.P. & Florin, N. & Fennell, P.S, 2014. "A review of the technologies, economics and policy instruments for decarbonising energy-intensive manufacturing industries," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 616-640.
    3. Raphael Calel, 2018. "Adopt or Innovate: Understanding Technological Responses to Cap-and-Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 6847, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; Climate Change Levy (CCL); Climate Change Agreement (CCA); trends; firm behaviour;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory

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