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From Regressive Pollution Taxes to Progressive Environmental Tax Reforms

European countries have increased their use of environmental tax instruments by designing new tax bases. But, many countries have to face the opposition of the public opinion, for fear of the distributive consequences of these environmental tax reforms. This paper sheds light on the distributive consequences of environmental tax policies when households are heterogeneous. The objective is to assess whether an environmental tax reform could be Pareto improving, when the revenue of the pollution tax is recycled by a change in the labor tax properties. We show that, whatever the degree of regressivity of the environmental tax alone, it is possible to design a recycling mechanism that renders the tax reform Pareto improving, by simultaneously decreasing the average rate of the wage tax annd increasing its progressivity.

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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 12048.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:12048
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  1. Brown, D.K. & Deardorff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 1991. "A North American Free Trade Agreement: Analytical Issues and A Computational Assessment," Working Papers 289, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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  4. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Desirability of Commodity Taxation under Non-Linear Income Taxation and Heterogeneous Tastes," NBER Working Papers 8029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, june. pag.
  6. Parry Ian W. H., 1995. "Pollution Taxes and Revenue Recycling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages S64-S77, November.
  7. Pearce, David W, 1991. "The Role of Carbon Taxes in Adjusting to Global Warming," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 938-48, July.
  8. Benjamin Bureau, 2011. "Distributional effects of a carbon tax on car fuels in France," Post-Print hal-00530054, HAL.
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  11. Lawrance, Emily C, 1991. "Poverty and the Rate of Time Preference: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 54-77, February.
  12. Roberton C. Williams, 2000. "Environmental Tax Interactions When Pollution Affects Health or Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Fernando Perera-Tallo & Hideo Konishi, 1997. "Existence of steady - state equium in an overlapping-generations model with production (*)," Economic Theory, Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 9(3), pages 529-537.
  14. Jenny Elisabeth Ligthart, 1998. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Environmental Taxes; A Closer Look at the Feasibility of “Win-Win†Outcomes," IMF Working Papers 98/75, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Nicolas Ruiz & Alain Trannoy, 2008. "Le caractère régressif des taxes indirectes : les enseignements d'un modèle de microsimulation," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 413(1), pages 21-46.
  16. Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1999. "A Distributional Analysis of Green Tax Reforms," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 4), pages 655-82, December.
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  18. Gale, Lewis R. & Mendez, Jose A., 1998. "The empirical relationship between trade, growth and the environment," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 53-61.
  19. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Sevilla, Jaypee, 2004. "The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: A Production Function Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-13, January.
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  22. Wier, Mette & Birr-Pedersen, Katja & Jacobsen, Henrik Klinge & Klok, Jacob, 2005. "Are CO2 taxes regressive? Evidence from the Danish experience," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 239-251, January.
  23. James M. Poterba, 1993. "Global Warming Policy: A Public Finance Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 47-63, Fall.
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  25. Frank M. Gollop & Gregory P. Swinand, 1998. "From Total Factor to Total Resource Productivity: An Application to Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(3), pages 577-583.
  26. Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline & Mouez Fodha, 2006. "Double Dividend Hypothesis, Golden Rule and Welfare Distribution," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00089895, HAL.
  27. Williams III, Roberton C., 2003. "Health effects and optimal environmental taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 323-335, February.
  28. Chao, Hung-po & Peck, Stephen, 2000. "Greenhouse gas abatement: How much? and Who pays?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-20, January.
  29. Lawrence Goulder, 1995. "Environmental taxation and the double dividend: A reader's guide," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 157-183, August.
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