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The distributional effects of a carbon tax and its impact on fuel poverty: A microsimulation study in the French context

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  • Audrey Berry

    (CIRED - centre international de recherche sur l'environnement et le développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement)

Abstract

This paper studies the distributional effects of France's recently introduced carbon tax. Using a microsimulation model built on a representative sample of the French population from 2012, it simulates the taxes levied on each household's consumption of energy for housing and transport. Without revenue recycling, the carbon tax is regressive and increases fuel poverty. From a policy perspective, this finding indicates that the question of fuel poverty cannot be ignored in the quest for a fair ecological transition. It proposes that some of the revenues from the carbon tax should be redistributed to households. Different designs of cash transfer to support households are then compared. The results show that the inequities of the carbon tax could be offset at reasonable cost relative to total carbon tax revenues. However, adjusting the design of cash transfers to criteria other than income level does not diminish the cost of compensating households. The benefits of finely adjusting cash transfers may therefore be somewhat limited. Most notably, the results show that targeting revenue recycling at low-income households would help to reduce fuel poverty substantially. This study therefore indicates that carbon taxation actually provides an opportunity to finance ambitious policies to fight fuel poverty.
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Suggested Citation

  • Audrey Berry, 2019. "The distributional effects of a carbon tax and its impact on fuel poverty: A microsimulation study in the French context," Post-Print hal-01896815, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01896815
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.09.021
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01896815
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    Cited by:

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    2. Katsuyuki Nakano & Ken Yamagishi, 2021. "Impact of Carbon Tax Increase on Product Prices in Japan," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 14(7), pages 1-19, April.
    3. Giraudet, Louis-Gaëtan & Bourgeois, Cyril & Quirion, Philippe, 2021. "Policies for low-carbon and affordable home heating: A French outlook," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    4. Khaerul Azis, Mohammad & Widodo, Tri, 2019. "The Impact of Carbon Tax on GDP and Environment," MPRA Paper 91314, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Umit, Resul & Schaffer, Lena Maria, 2020. "Attitudes towards carbon taxes across Europe: The role of perceived uncertainty and self-interest," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    6. Boqiang Lin & Zhijie Jia, 2020. "Supply control vs. demand control: why is resource tax more effective than carbon tax in reducing emissions?," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 7(1), pages 1-13, December.
    7. Lekavičius, V. & Bobinaitė, V. & Galinis, A. & Pažėraitė, A., 2020. "Distributional impacts of investment subsidies for residential energy technologies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    8. Bourgeois, Cyril & Giraudet, Louis-Gaëtan & Quirion, Philippe, 2021. "Lump-sum vs. energy-efficiency subsidy recycling of carbon tax revenue in the residential sector: A French assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    9. Mattioli, Giulio & Philips, Ian & Anable, Jillian & Chatterton, Tim, 2019. "Vulnerability to motor fuel price increases: Socio-spatial patterns in England," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 98-114.
    10. Ma, Xuejiao & Ahmad, Najid & Oei, Pao-Yu, 2021. "Environmental Kuznets curve in France and Germany: Role of renewable and nonrenewable energy," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 88-99.
    11. Manuel Schechtl, 2021. "Taking from the Disadvantaged? Consumption Tax Induced Poverty Across Household Types in 11 OECD Countries," LIS Working papers 807, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    12. Sabine, Garabedian & Avotra, Narindranjanahary & Olivia, Ricci & Sandrine, Selosse, 2020. "A macroeconomic evaluation of a carbon tax in overseas territories: A CGE model for Reunion Island," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    13. Jia, Zhijie & Lin, Boqiang, 2020. "Rethinking the choice of carbon tax and carbon trading in China," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 159(C).
    14. Andrea Boeri & Valentina Gianfrate & Saveria Olga Murielle Boulanger & Martina Massari, 2020. "Future Design Approaches for Energy Poverty: Users Profiling and Services for No-Vulnerable Condition," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(8), pages 1-18, April.
    15. Elbaum Jean-David, 2021. "The effect of a carbon tax on per capita carbon dioxide emissions: evidence from Finland," IRENE Working Papers 21-05, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.

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