IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/5993.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Case for a Two-Part Instrument: Presumptive Tax and Environmental Subsidy

Author

Listed:
  • Don Fullerton
  • Ann Wolverton

Abstract

This paper builds two simple general equilibrium models to demonstrate the equivalence between the Pigovian tax and the combination of a presumptive tax and an environmental subsidy. A presumptive tax is a tax that is imposed under the presumption that all production uses a dirty technology or all consumption goods become waste. The environmental subsidy is then provided only to the extent that production uses a cleaner technology or that consumption goods are recycled. To analyze the usefulness of the tax-subsidy combination, we review conceptual considerations regarding its implementation and practical considerations regarding its actual use throughout the world. While the tax-subsidy combination is increasingly being used, in the form of a deposit-refund system, we argue that more flexible interpretations are important to explore. The two parts of such a policy do not have to apply to the same side of the market. The tax and subsidy do not have to equal one another, and they can apply to different goods altogether. Compared to the Pigovian tax, a two-part instrument may be easier to enforce, may be easier to enact, and can still force the market to recognize the social cost of disposal.

Suggested Citation

  • Don Fullerton & Ann Wolverton, 1997. "The Case for a Two-Part Instrument: Presumptive Tax and Environmental Subsidy," NBER Working Papers 5993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5993
    Note: PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5993.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Swierzbinski Joseph E., 1994. "Guilty until Proven Innocent-Regulation with Costly and Limited Enforcement," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 127-146, September.
    2. Fullerton Don & Kinnaman Thomas C., 1995. "Garbage, Recycling, and Illicit Burning or Dumping," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 78-91, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Fullerton, Don, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxes: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 245-251, March.
    5. Don Fullerton, 1996. "Why Have Separate Environmental Taxes?," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 10, pages 33-70 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Palmer, Karen & Sigman, Hilary & Walls, Margaret, 1997. "The Cost of Reducing Municipal Solid Waste," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 128-150, June.
    7. Porter, Richard C., 1978. "A social benefit-cost analysis of mandatory deposits on beverage containers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 351-375, December.
    8. Dinan Terry M., 1993. "Economic Efficiency Effects of Alternative Policies for Reducing Waste Disposal," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 242-256, November.
    9. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, March.
    10. Glenn Jenkins & RANJIT LAMECH, 1992. "Market-Based Incentive Instruments For Pollution Control," Development Discussion Papers 1992-02, JDI Executive Programs.
    11. Eskeland, Gunnar S, 1994. "A Presumptive Pigovian Tax: Complementing Regulation to Mimic an Emissions Fee," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 373-394, September.
    12. Richard C. Porter, 1983. "Michigan's Experience with Mandatory Deposits on Beverage Containers," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 59(2), pages 177-194.
    13. Miedema, Allen K., 1983. "Fundamental economic comparisons of solid waste policy options," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 21-43, March.
    14. Bovenberg, A Lans & de Mooij, Ruud A, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 252-253, March.
    15. Hilary A. Sigman, 1995. "A Comparison of Public Policies for Lead Recycling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 452-478, Autumn.
    16. Lee, Dwight R. & Graves, Philip E. & Sexton, Robert L., 1992. "Controlling the abandonment of automobiles: Mandatory deposits vs fines," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 14-24, January.
    17. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
    18. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Renan-Ulrich Goetz & Yolanda Martínez, 2013. "Nonpoint source pollution and two-part instruments," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 15(3), pages 237-258, July.
    2. Walls, Margaret & Palmer, Karen, 2001. "Upstream Pollution, Downstream Waste Disposal, and the Design of Comprehensive Environmental Policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 94-108, January.
    3. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams III, Roberton C. & Burtraw, Dallas, 1999. "The cost-effectiveness of alternative instruments for environmental protection in a second-best setting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 329-360, June.
    4. Vidar Christiansen & Stephen Smith, 2012. "Externality-Correcting Taxes and Regulation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(2), pages 358-383, June.
    5. Fullerton, Don & Wolverton, Ann, 2005. "The two-part instrument in a second-best world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1961-1975, September.
    6. Fullerton, Don & West, Sarah E., 2002. "Can Taxes on Cars and on Gasoline Mimic an Unavailable Tax on Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 135-157, January.
    7. Hilary Sigman, 2003. "Taxing Hazardous Waste: The U.S. Experience," Departmental Working Papers 200306, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    8. Bovenberg, A. Lans & Goulder, Lawrence H., 2002. "Environmental taxation and regulation," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1471-1545 Elsevier.
    9. Calcott, Paul & Walls, Margaret, 2005. "Waste, recycling, and "Design for Environment": Roles for markets and policy instruments," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 287-305, November.
    10. Sjak Smulders & Herman R. J. Vollebergh, 2001. "Green Taxes and Administrative Costs: The Case of Carbon Taxation," NBER Chapters,in: Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy, pages 91-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Lehmann, Paul, 2008. "Using a Policy Mix for Pollution Control – A Review of Economic Literature," MPRA Paper 21354, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2001. "Environmental controls, scarcity rents, and pre-existing distortions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 249-267, May.
    13. Mohr, Robert D., 2002. "Technical Change, External Economies, and the Porter Hypothesis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 158-168, January.
    14. Hilary Sigman, 2003. "Targeting Lead in Solid Waste," Departmental Working Papers 200308, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    15. Paul J. Ferraro & R. David Simpson, 2002. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Conservation Payments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(3), pages 339-353.
    16. Arguedas, Carmen & van Soest, Daan P., 2009. "On reducing the windfall profits in environmental subsidy programs," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 192-205, September.
    17. Arjan Ruijs & Herman R. J. Vollebergh, 2013. "Lessons from 15 Years of Experience with the Dutch Tax Allowance for Energy Investments for Firms," OECD Environment Working Papers 55, OECD Publishing.
    18. Eskeland, Gunnar S., 2000. "Environmental protection and optimal taxation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2510, The World Bank.
    19. Walls, Margaret, 2003. "The Role of Economics in Extended Producer Responsibility: Making Policy Choices and Setting Policy Goals," Discussion Papers dp-03-11, Resources For the Future.
    20. Helfand, Gloria E. & Berck, Peter & Maull, Tim, 2003. "The theory of pollution policy," Handbook of Environmental Economics,in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 249-303 Elsevier.
    21. Don Fullerton & Andrew Leicester & Stephen Smith, 2008. "Environmental Taxes," NBER Working Papers 14197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5993. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.