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Need a Carbon Tax be Socially Regressive ? True Challenges and Wrong Debates

Author

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  • Emmanuel Combet

    (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Frédéric Ghersi

    (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Jean Charles Hourcade

    () (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Daniel Théry

    (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

This research aims at clearing up misunderstandings about the distributive impacts of carbon taxes, which proved to be a decisive obstacle to their further consideration in public debates. It highlights the gap between partial equilibrium analyses, which are close to the agents' perception of the costs of taxation, and general equilibrium analyses, which better capture its ultimate consequences. It shows that the real impact on households' income inequality is not mechanically determined by the initial energy budgets and their flexibilities but also depends upon the way tax revenues are recycled and its general equilibrium consequences. The comparison of five tax-recycling schemes highlights the existence of trade-offs between maximizing total consumption, maximizing the consumption of the low-income classes and reducing income inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Emmanuel Combet & Frédéric Ghersi & Jean Charles Hourcade & Daniel Théry, 2009. "Need a Carbon Tax be Socially Regressive ? True Challenges and Wrong Debates," CIRED Working Papers hal-00866410, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:ciredw:hal-00866410
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00866410
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    References listed on IDEAS

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