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International Capital Markets, Oil Producers and the Green Paradox

  • Rick Van der Ploeg
  • Gerard van der Meijden
  • Cees Withagen

In partial equilibrium a rapidly rising carbon tax encourages oil producers to extract fossil fuels more quickly, giving rise to the Green Paradox. General equilibrium analysis for a closed economy shows that a rapidly rising carbon tax negatively affects the interest rate, which tends to weaken the Green Paradox. However, in a two-country world with an oil-importing and an oil-exporting region the Green Paradox may be amplified in general equilibrium if exporters are relatively patient. On the contrary, if oil exporters are relatively impatient, the Green Paradox might be reversed. Furthermore, general equilibrium effects tend to weaken the link between a capital asset tax and the time profile of resource extraction so that the capital asset tax becomes less useful as an instrument to offset the Green Paradox effect associated with the announcement of a future carbon tax. Taking exploration costs into account, we show that the effect of both policy instruments on cumulative extraction is of opposite sign as the effect on current extraction. Moreover, if the change in current extraction is amplified or reversed in general equilibrium, so will be the change in cumulative extraction.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number OxCarre Research Paper 130.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2014
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:oxcarre-research-paper-130
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