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Green Tax Reform and Competitiveness

  • Erkki Koskela
  • Ronnie Schob
  • Hans-Werner Sinn

This paper develops a model of a small open economy that produces an export good with domestic labour and imported energy and is stuck in an unemployment situation resulting from an excessive fixed net-of-tax wage rate. We study a revenue-neutral green tax reform that substitutes energy for wage taxes. A moderate green tax reform will boost employment, improve welfare, and increase the economy's competitiveness. The driving force behind these results is the technological substitution process that a green tax reform will bring about by inducing the producers to substitute labour for energy as factors of production. The resulting reduction in unemployment is welfare increasing since energy, which the country has to buy at its true national opportunity cost, is replaced with labour, whose price is above its social opportunity cost. As long as the labour tax rate exceeds the resource tax rate, a revenue-neutral green-tax reform will reduce the domestic firms' unit cost of production and hence increase international competitiveness and output of the economy.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6922.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6922.

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Date of creation: Feb 1999
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Publication status: published as Erkki Koskela & Hans-Werner Sinn & Ronnie Schöb, 2001. "Green Tax Reform and Competitiveness," German Economic Review, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 2(1), pages 19-30, 02.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6922
Note: PE
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  1. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  2. Koskela, Erkki & Schöb, Ronnie & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1998. "Pollution, Factor Taxation and Unemployment," Munich Reprints in Economics 19493, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-152985 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Koskela, Erkki & Schob, Ronnie, 1999. "Alleviating unemployment:: The case for green tax reforms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1723-1746, October.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," NBER Working Papers 4810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bovenberg, A.L. & de Mooij, R.A., 1994. "Environmental levies and distortionary taxation," Other publications TiSEM 4b32deaa-ec2f-4de7-b59b-9, School of Economics and Management.
  7. Wolfram Richter & Kerstin Schneider, 2001. "Taxing Mobile Capital with Labor Market Imperfections," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 245-262, May.
  8. Bovenberg, A Lans & de Mooij, Ruud A, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 252-53, March.
  9. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," Scholarly Articles 4553027, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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