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Distributional Impacts in a Comprehensive Climate Policy Package

  • Gilbert E. Metcalf
  • Aparna Mathur
  • Kevin A. Hassett

This paper provides a simple analytic approach for measuring the burden of carbon pricing that does not require sophisticated and numerically intensive economic models but which is not limited to restrictive assumptions of forward shifting of carbon prices. We also show how to adjust for the capital income bias contained in the Consumer Expenditure Survey, a bias towards regressivity in carbon pricing due to underreporting of capital income in higher income deciles in the Survey. Many distributional analyses of carbon pricing focus on the uses-side incidence of carbon pricing. This is the differential burden resulting from heterogeneity in consumption across households. Once one allows for sources-side incidence (i.e. differential impacts of changes in real factor prices), carbon policies look more progressive. Perhaps more important than the findings from any one scenario, our results on the progressivity of the leading cap and trade proposals are robust to the assumptions made on the relative importance of uses and sources side heterogeneity.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16101.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16101.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Publication status: published as Distributional Impacts in a Comprehensive Climate Policy Package , Gilbert E. Metcalf, Aparna Mathur, Kevin A. Hassett. in The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy , Fullerton and Wolfram. 2012
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16101
Note: EEE PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Kevin A. Hasset & Aparna Mathur & Gilbert Metcalf, 2007. "The Incidence of a U.S. Carbon Tax: A Lifetime and Regional Analysis," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0714, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  2. Rausch Sebastian & Metcalf Gilbert E. & Reilly John M & Paltsev Sergey, 2010. "Distributional Implications of Alternative U.S. Greenhouse Gas Control Measures," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-46, July.
  3. Nicholas Bull & Kevin A. Hassett & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1994. "Who Pays Broad-Based Energy Taxes? Computing Lifetime and Regional Incidence," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 145-164.
  4. Fullerton Don & Heutel Garth, 2011. "Analytical General Equilibrium Effects of Energy Policy on Output and Factor Prices," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-26, January.
  5. Lyon, Andrew B & Schwab, Robert M, 1995. "Consumption Taxes in a Life-Cycle Framework: Are Sin Taxes Regressive?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 389-406, August.
  6. Parry, Ian W. H., 2004. "Are emissions permits regressive?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 364-387, March.
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