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Health effects and optimal environmental taxes in welfare state countries

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Most studies on the green tax reform issue point out that environmental taxes exacerbate pre-existing tax distortions, thereby increasing the welfare costs associated with the overall tax code. As a result, the optimal environmental tax should lie below the Pigovian level (or marginal social damages). This article challenges this finding by arguing that health benefits from reduced pollution may sufficiently affect labor supply to create benefit-side tax interactions which, in turn, may be of the same magnitude as cost-side ones. Using a simple general equilibrium model that assumes the existence of a social security system, this paper shows that the optimal environmental tax rate could be greater than traditionally thought

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  • Jean-Christophe Caffet, 2005. "Health effects and optimal environmental taxes in welfare state countries," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques v05049, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:wpsorb:v05049
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    6. Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams, Roberton III & Goulder, Lawrence H., 1999. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 52-84, January.
    7. Bovenberg, A. Lans & Goulder, Lawrence H., 1997. "Costs of Environmentally Motivated Taxes in the Presence of Other Taxes: General Equilibrium Analyses," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(1), pages 59-88, March.
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    13. Williams, Roberton III, 2002. "Environmental Tax Interactions when Pollution Affects Health or Productivity," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 261-270, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental tax; double dividend; employment; health; social security;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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