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Second-Best Pollution Taxation and Environmental Quality

  • Thomas Gaube


    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn, Germany)

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    This paper deals with second-best pollution taxation by investigating allocations instead of the corresponding tax rates. Assuming certain restrictions on utility and that the marginal revenue from environmental taxation is positive, it is shown that environmental quality is higher in second best where only distortionary taxes are used to finance public expenditures than in the first-best optimum where lump-sum taxes are available.

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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2005_9.

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    Length: 17 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2005
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Frontiers of Economic Analysis & Policy 1, 2005, No. 1, Article 1
    Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2005_09
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    1. Bovenberg, A Lans & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1992. "Environmental Policy, Public Finance and the Labour Market in a Second-best World," CEPR Discussion Papers 745, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stern, N H, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 119-28, January.
    3. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
    4. Parry Ian W. H., 1995. "Pollution Taxes and Revenue Recycling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages S64-S77, November.
    5. Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2003. "Environmental levies and distortionary taxation:: Pigou, taxation and pollution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 313-322, February.
    6. Arrow, Kenneth & Bolin, Bert & Costanza, Robert & Dasgupta, Partha & Folke, Carl & Holling, C.S. & Jansson, Bengt-Owe & Levin, Simon & Mäler, Karl-Göran & Perrings, Charles & Pimentel, David, 1996. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 104-110, February.
    7. Bovenberg, A Lans & de Mooij, Ruud A, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 252-53, March.
    8. Ronnie Schöb, 1997. "Environmental Taxes and Pre-Existing Distortions: The Normalization Trap," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 167-176, May.
    9. Costanza, Robert, 1995. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 89-90, November.
    10. WilliamsIII, Roberton C., 2001. "Tax normalizations, the marginal cost of funds, and optimal environmental taxes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 137-142, April.
    11. Gaube, Thomas, 2000. "When do distortionary taxes reduce the optimal supply of public goods?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 151-180, May.
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