Revenue-Raising vs. Other Approaches to Environmental Protection: The Critical Significance of Pre-Existing Tax Distortions
This paper examines the choice between revenue-raising and non-revenue-raising instruments for environmental protection in a second-best setting with pre- existing factor taxes. We find that interactions with pre-existing taxes influence the costs of regulation and seriously militate against pollution abatement policies that do not raise revenue. If the marginal environmental benefits from pollution reductions are below a certain threshold value, any amount of pollution abatement through non-revenue-raising (NRR) policies like emissions quotas is efficiency-reducing. Under conditions approximating S02 emissions from electric power plants in the U.S., efficiency gains vanish if marginal environmental benefits are below $109 per ton and an NRR policy is employed. These results are largely independent of the size of the regulated sector relative to the overall economy and stem from two underlying effects. The tax-interaction effect is the adverse impact in factor markets arising from reductions in after-tax returns to factors associated with the higher production costs caused by environmental regulation. This effect leads to significantly higher efficiency costs than what would apply in a first-best world with no pre-existing taxes. Revenue-raising regulations (taxes) enjoy a revenue-recycling effect that offsets much of the tax-interaction effect, but non-revenue-raising regulations (quotas) enjoy no such offset.For any target level of emissions reduction, the gross efficiency costs of quotas are higher than those of revenue-raising policies.. To the extent that government regulations of international trade or agricultural production raise the costs of output and thus reduce real factor returns, they generate much higher social costs than indicated by partial equilibrium analyses.
|Date of creation:||Jun 1996|
|Publication status:||published as Goulder, Lawrence H., Ian W. H. Parry and Dallas Burtraw. "Revenue-Raising Versus Other Approaches To Environmental Protection: The Critical Significance Of Preexisting Tax Distortions," Rand Journal of Economics, 1997, v28(4,Winter), 708-731.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- de Bovenberg, A Lans & Mooij, Ruud A, 1994.
"Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1085-1089, September.
- Bovenberg, A.L. & Goulder, L.H., 1996. "Optimal environmental taxation in the presence of other taxes : General equilibrium analyses," Other publications TiSEM 5d4b7517-c5c8-4ef6-ab76-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
- Lawrence Goulder, 1995. "Environmental taxation and the double dividend: A reader's guide," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(2), pages 157-183, August.
- Burtraw Dallas & Harrington Winston & Krupnick Alan J. & Freeman III A. Myrick, 1995. "Optimal Adders for Environmental Damage by Public Utilities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 1-19, November.
- Bovenberg, A.L. & Van Der Ploeg, F., 1992.
"Environmental Policy, Public Finance and the Labour Market in a Second- Best World,"
9243, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
- Bovenberg, A. L. & van der Ploeg, F., 1994. "Environmental policy, public finance and the labour market in a second-best world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 349-390, November.
- Bovenberg, A Lans & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1992. "Environmental Policy, Public Finance and the Labour Market in a Second-best World," CEPR Discussion Papers 745, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bovenberg, A.L. & van der Ploeg, F., 1992. "Environmental policy, public finance and the labour market in a second-best world," Discussion Paper 1992-43, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Parry, Ian W. H., 1997. "Environmental taxes and quotas in the presence of distorting taxes in factor markets," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 203-220, August.
- Hahn, Robert W., 1986. "Trade-offs in designing markets with multiple objectives," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-12, March.
- Ballard, Charles L & Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1985. "General Equilibrium Computations of the Marginal Welfare Costs of Taxes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 128-138, March.
- Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton, 1992.
"Distortionary Taxes and the Provision of Public Goods,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 117-131, Summer.
- Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton, 1990. "Distortionary Taxes and the Provision of Public Goods," NBER Working Papers 3506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lee, Dwight R. & Misiolek, Walter S., 1986. "Substituting pollution taxation for general taxation: Some implications for efficiency in pollutions taxation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 338-347, December.
- Parry Ian W. H., 1995. "Pollution Taxes and Revenue Recycling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 64-77, November.
- Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
- Portney, Paul R, 1990. "Economics and the Clean Air Act," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 173-181, Fall.
- Alan J. Auerbach, 1982.
"The Theory of Excess Burden and Optimal Taxation,"
NBER Working Papers
1025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Browning, Edgar K, 1987. "On the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 11-23, March.
- Browning, Edgar K., 1994. "The non-tax wedge," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 419-433, March.
- Oates, Wallace E. & Schwab, Robert M., 1988. "Economic competition among jurisdictions: efficiency enhancing or distortion inducing?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 333-354, April.
- Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1980. "Optimal Corrective Taxes or Subsidies When Revenue Raising Imposes an Excess Burden," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 744-751, September.
- Terkla, David, 1984. "The efficiency value of effluent tax revenues," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 107-123, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5641. 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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.