IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Price vs Quantity Debate: Climate policy and the role of business cycles

  • Anna Grodecka
  • Karlygash Kuralbayeva

What is the optimal instrument design and choice for a regulator attempting to control emissions by private agents in face of uncertainty arising from business cycles? In applying Weitzman's result [Prices vs. quantities, Review of Economic Studies, 41 (1974), 477-491] to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, the price-quantity literature has shown that, under uncertainty about abatement costs, price instruments (carbon taxes) are preferred to quantity restrictions (caps on emission), since the damages from climate change are relatively fl at. On the other hand, another recent piece of academic literature has highlighted the importance of adjusting carbon taxes to business cycle fl uctuations in a procyclical manner. In this paper, we analyze the optimal design and the relative performance of price versus quantity instruments in the face of uncertainty stemming from business cycles. Our theoretical framework is a general equilibrium real business cycle model with a climate change externality and distortionary fiscal policy. First, we find that in an infinitely exible control environment, the carbon tax fl uctuates very little and is approximately constant, whilst emissions fl uctuate a great deal in response to a productivity shock. Second, we find that a fixed price instrument is advantageous over a fixed quantity instrument due to the cyclical behavior of abatement costs, which tend to increase during expansions and decline during economic downturns. Our results suggest that the carbon tax is approximately constant over business cycles due to "flat" damages in the short-run and thus procyclical behavior as suggested by other studies cannot be justified merely on the grounds of targeting the climate externality.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.oxcarre.ox.ac.uk/files/OxCarreRP2014137.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford in its series OxCarre Working Papers with number 137.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:137
Contact details of provider: Postal: Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
Web page: http://www.oxcarre.ox.ac.uk/
Email:


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.:

as in new window
  1. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-52, August.
  2. Rogerson, Richard & Wallenius, Johanna, 2009. "Micro and macro elasticities in a life cycle model with taxes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2277-2292, November.
  3. Armon Rezai & Frederick van der Ploeg, 2015. "Intergenerational Inequality Aversion, Growth and the Role of Damages; Occam's rule for the global carbon tax," OxCarre Working Papers 150, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Kuralbayeva, Karlygash, 2013. "Optimal fiscal policy and different degrees of access to international capital markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 336-352.
  5. Goulder, Lawrence H., 2013. "Climate change policy's interactions with the tax system," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(S1), pages S3-S11.
  6. Correia, Isabel H., 1996. "Should capital income be taxed in the steady state?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 147-151, April.
  7. Golosov, Mikhail & Troshkin, Maxim & Tsyvinski, Aleh & Weinzierl, Matthew, 2013. "Preference heterogeneity and optimal capital income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 160-175.
  8. Rausch, Sebastian, 2013. "Fiscal Consolidation and Climate Policy: An Overlapping Generations Perspective," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80026, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  9. Juin-Jen Chang & Jhy-Hwa Chen & Jhy-Yuan Shieh & Ching-Chong Lai, 2009. "Optimal Tax Policy, Market Imperfections, and Environmental Externalities in a Dynamic Optimizing Macro Model," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(4), pages 623-651, 08.
  10. Garth Heutel, 2012. "How Should Environmental Policy Respond to Business Cycles? Optimal Policy under Persistent Productivity Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 244-264, April.
  11. Carolyn Fischer & Garth Heutel, 2013. "Environmental Macroeconomics: Environmental Policy, Business Cycles, and Directed Technical Change," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 197-210, 06.
  12. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1702-1725, September.
  13. Smulders, Sjak & Gradus, Raymond, 1996. "Pollution abatement and long-term growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 505-532, November.
  14. Nordhaus, William D, 1991. "To Slow or Not to Slow: The Economics of the Greenhouse Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 920-37, July.
  15. Zhu, Xiaodong, 1992. "Optimal fiscal policy in a stochastic growth model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 250-289, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:137. 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: (Celia Kingham)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.