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Energy Taxes and Aggregate Economic Activity

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  • Julio J. Rotemberg
  • Michael Woodford

Abstract

This paper shows that the output losses from energy taxes are significantly larger than usually computed when due account is taken of imperfect competition among energy using firms. Even with perfect competition among these firms, the loss in GNP is of the same order of magnitude as the revenue raised by these taxes. However, in the presence of imperfect competition the output losses are much higher. There are particularly large transitory losses in the immediate aftermath of energy price increases when firms act as implicitly colluding oligopolists. These losses become considerably smaller if energy taxes are phased-in. We also show that taxes that affect only household consumption of energy have much smaller effects. In particular, for the empirically plausible parameter values we consider, such taxes have no effect on employment or output in the non-energy sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1993. "Energy Taxes and Aggregate Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 4576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4576
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    2. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1991. "Markups and the Business Cycle," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 63-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-947, October.
    4. H. S. Houthakker & Philip K. Verleger & Dennis P. Sheehan, 1974. "Dynamic Demand Analyses for Gasoline and Residential Electricity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 56(2), pages 412-418.
    5. Catherine J. Morrison, 1990. "Market Power, Economic Profitability and Productivity Growth Measurement: An Integrated Structural Approach," NBER Working Papers 3355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lawrence H. Goulder, 1993. "Energy Taxes: Traditional Efficiency Effects and Environmental Implications," NBER Working Papers 4582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Zhang, Yan & Chen, Yan, 2012. "Tariff And Equilibrium Indeterminacy: A Global Analysis," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(S3), pages 394-410, November.
    3. A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder, 1995. "Costs of Environmentally Motivated Taxes in the Presence of Other Taxes:General Equilibrium Analyses," NBER Working Papers 5117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Carlos de Miguel & Baltasar Manzano, 2006. "Optimal Oil Taxation in a Small Open Economy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(3), pages 438-454, July.
    5. Tim Besley, 2001. "From micro to macro: public policies and aggregate economic performance," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 22(3), pages 357-374, September.
    6. Alberto Petrucci, 2010. "Second-Best Optimal Taxation of Oil and Capital in a Small Open Economy," Working Papers 2010.20, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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