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Pollution, Factor Taxation and Unemployment

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  • Koskela, Erkki
  • Schöb, Ronnie
  • Sinn, Hans-Werner

Abstract

When consumers choose between clean and dirty goods and the labour market clears, a green tax reform may not bring about a double dividend in the sense of increasing environmental quality and increasing employment. However, when firms choose between clean and dirty factors of production, and when there is unemployment, such a result is very likely to occur. The paper investigates a model of a monopolistic firm where labour and energy are factors of production and trade unions negotiate the wage rate, accepting some unemployment as a result of aggressive wage demands. It is shown that, in such a framework, a green tax reform will boost employment provided it does not increase the net-of-tax wage rate by too much. This is the case when the elasticity of substitution between labour and energy is greater than one, equal to one or not too far below one.

Suggested Citation

  • Koskela, Erkki & Schöb, Ronnie & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1998. "Pollution, Factor Taxation and Unemployment," Munich Reprints in Economics 19493, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19493
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    1. Bovenberg, A. L. & van der Ploeg, F., 1994. "Environmental policy, public finance and the labour market in a second-best world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 349-390, November.
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