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The Optimal Carbon Tax and Economic Growth: Additive versus multiplicative damages

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  • Armon Rezai
  • Frederick van der Ploeg
  • Cees Withagen

Abstract

In a calibrated integrated assessment model we investigate the differentia impact of additive and multiplicative damages from climate change for both a socially optimal and a business-as-usual scenario in the market economy within the context of a Ramsey model of economic growth. The sources ofenergy are fossil fuel which is available at a cost which rises as reserves diminish and a carbon-free backstop supplied at a decreasing cost. if damages are not proportional to aggregate production output, and the economy is along a development path, the social cost of carbon and the optimal carbon tax are smaller as damages can more easily be compensated for by higher output. As a result, the economy switches later from fossil fuel to the carbon-free backstop and leaves less fossil fuel in situ. This is in contrast to a partial equilibrium analysis with dmages in utility rather than in production which finds that the willingness to forsake current consumption to avoid future global warming is higher (lower) under additive damages in a growing economy if the elasticity of intertemporal substitution is smaller (bigger) than one.

Suggested Citation

  • Armon Rezai & Frederick van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2012. "The Optimal Carbon Tax and Economic Growth: Additive versus multiplicative damages," OxCarre Working Papers 093, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:093
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Moreaux, Michel & Withagen, Cees, 2013. "Climate Change and Carbon Capture and Storage," IDEI Working Papers 774, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    2. Sjak Smulders & Michael Toman & Cees Withagen, 2014. "Growth theory and ‘green growth’," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 423-446.
    3. Lucas Bretschger & Christos Karydas, 2014. "Optimum Growth and Carbon Policies with Lags in the Climate System," OxCarre Working Papers 144, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    4. Moreaux, Michel & Withagen, Cees, 2015. "Optimal abatement of carbon emission flows," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 55-70.
    5. Mark Kagan, 2012. "Climate Change Skepticism in the Face of Catastrophe," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-112/VIII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 29 Sep 2014.
    6. Frederick van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2015. "Global Warming and the Green Paradox: A Review of Adverse Effects of Climate Policies," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(2), pages 285-303.
    7. VARDAR, N. Baris, 2014. "Optimal energy transition and taxation of non-renewable resources," CORE Discussion Papers 2014021, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change; multiplicative damages; additive damages; integrated assessment models; Ramsey growth model; fossil fuel; carbon-free backstop;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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