Tax Policy to Combat Global Warming: On Designing a Carbon Tax
This paper develops several points concerning the design and implementation of a carbon tax. First, if implemented without any offsetting changes in transfer programs, the carbon tax would be regressive. This regressivity could be offset with changes in either the direct tax system or transfers. Second, the production and consumption distortions associated with small carbon taxes, on the order of $5/ton of carbon, are relatively small: less than $1 billion per year for the United States. Stabilizing carbon dioxide emissions at their 1988 levels by the year 2000, however, would require a carbon tax ten to twenty times this size. It would more than triple the producer price of coal and nearly double the producer prices of petroleum and natural gas, would have much more significant private efficiency effects. Third, a central issue of carbon tax design is harmonization with other fiscal instruments designed to reduce greenhouse warming. Ensuring comparability between taxes rates on chlorofluorocarbons and fossil fuels is particularly important to avoid unnecessary distortions in production or consumption decisions.
|Date of creation:||Mar 1991|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Global Warming: Economic Policy Responses, edited by Rudiger Dornbusch and James M. Poterba, pp. 71-98. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James M. Poterba, 1989.
"Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes,"
NBER Working Papers
2833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Poterba, James M, 1989. "Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 325-30, May.
- Poterba, J.M., 1989. "Lifetime Incidence And The Distributional Burden Of Excise Taxes," Working papers 510, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- James M. Poterba, 1991.
"Is the Gasoline Tax Regressive?,"
NBER Working Papers
3578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James M. Poterba & Julio J. Rotemberg & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985.
"A Tax-Based Test for Nominal Rigidities,"
376, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton & John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1985.
"A General Equilibrium Model for Tax Policy Evaluation,"
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ball85-1, 07.
- Ballard, Charles L. & Fullerton, Don & Shoven, John B. & Whalley, John, 2009. "A General Equilibrium Model for Tax Policy Evaluation," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226036335.
- Davies, James B & St-Hilaire, France & Whalley, John, 1984. "Some Calculations of Lifetime Tax Incidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 633-49, September.
- Lester B. Lave, 1987. "The greenhouse effect: What government actions are needed?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(3), pages 460-470.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3649. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.