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Taxing Pollution: Agglomeration and Welfare Consequences

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  • Berliant, Marcus
  • Peng, Shin-Kun
  • Wang, Ping

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that a pollution tax with a fixed cost component may lead, by itself, to stratification between clean and dirty firms without heterogeneous preferences or increasing returns. We construct a simple model with two locations and two industries (clean and dirty) where pollution is a by-product of dirty good manufacturing. Under proper assumptions, a completely stratified configuration with all dirty firms clustering in one city emerges as the only equilibrium outcome when there is a fixed cost component of the pollution tax. Moreover, a stratified Pareto optimum can never be supported by a competitive spatial equilibrium with a linear pollution tax that encompasses Pigouvian taxation as a special case. To support such a stratified Pareto optimum, however, an effective but unconventional policy prescription is to redistribute the pollution tax revenue from the dirty to the clean city residents.

Suggested Citation

  • Berliant, Marcus & Peng, Shin-Kun & Wang, Ping, 2013. "Taxing Pollution: Agglomeration and Welfare Consequences," MPRA Paper 45520, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:45520
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Murat Öztürk & Hans Peters & Ton Storcken, 2014. "On the location of public bads: strategy-proofness under two-dimensional single-dipped preferences," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 56(1), pages 83-108, May.
    2. Marcelo Arbex & Christian Trudeau, 2015. "Heterogeneous preferences, atmospheric externalities, and environmental taxation," Working Papers 1503, University of Windsor, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2016.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pollution Tax; Agglomeration of Polluting Producers; Endogenous Stratification;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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