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Dirty Little Secrets: Inferring Fossil-Fuel Subsidies from Patterns in Emission Intensities

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  • Radoslaw Stefanski

Abstract

I develop a unique database of international fossil-fuel subsidies by examining country-specific patterns in carbon emission-to-GDP ratios, known as emission-intensities. For most - but not all - countries, intensities tend to be hump-shaped with income. I construct a model of structural-transformation that generates this hump-shaped intensity and then show that deviations from this pattern must be driven by distortions to sectoral-productivity and/or fossil-fuel prices. Finally, I use the calibrated model to measure these distortions for 170 countries for 1980-2010. This methodology reveals that fossil-fuel price-distortions are large, increasing and often hidden. Furthermore, they are major contributors to higher carbon-emissions and lower GDP

Suggested Citation

  • Radoslaw Stefanski, 2014. "Dirty Little Secrets: Inferring Fossil-Fuel Subsidies from Patterns in Emission Intensities," OxCarre Working Papers 134, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:134
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    File URL: https://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/OxCarre/ResearchPapers/OxCarreRP2014134(1).pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Neil McCulloch, 2017. "Energy subsidies, international aid, and the politics of reform," WIDER Working Paper Series 174, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Lin, Boqiang & Omoju, Oluwasola E. & Okonkwo, Jennifer U., 2015. "Impact of industrialisation on CO2 emissions in Nigeria," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1228-1239.
    3. Antonio Mele & Radoslaw Stefanski, . "Velocity in the Long Run: Money and Structural Transformation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Antonio Mele & Radoslaw Stefanski, . "Velocity in the Long Run: Money and Structural Transformation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2017. "Reviewing, Reforming, and Rethinking Global Energy Subsidies: Towards a Political Economy Research Agenda," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 150-163.
    6. Breyer, Christian & Koskinen, Otto & Blechinger, Philipp, 2015. "Profitable climate change mitigation: The case of greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits enabled by solar photovoltaic systems," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 610-628.
    7. repec:spr:ieaple:v:17:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10784-017-9357-x is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Cécile Couharde & Sara Mouhoud, 2018. "Fossil fuel subsidies, income inequality and poverty. Evidence from developing countries," EconomiX Working Papers 2018-42, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    9. repec:clh:resear:v:9:y:2016:i:10 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fossil-fuel; hump-shaped; carbon-emissions; GDP; international fossil-fuel subsidies;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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