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Adjusting Carbon Cost Analyses to Account for Prior Tax Distortions

  • Parry, Ian

    ()

    (Resources for the Future)

This paper discusses how carbon abatement policies interact with the tax system, and how these interactions affect the overall costs of carbon controls. We provide formulas for adjusting cost estimates of auctioned and grandfathered carbon emissions from partial equilibrium energy models into rough estimates of general equilibrium costs that account for fiscal interactions. In the basic model with a tax on labor income, the general equilibrium costs of (revenue-neutral) auctioned permits are around 25% higher than the partial equilibrium costs; those of grandfathered permits, which do not directly raise revenues for recycling, are typically more than 100% higher. However, when allowance is made for complicating factors, such as the effect of tax subsidies on raising the distortionary costs of the tax system, the efficiency gains from recycling revenues from auctioned permits are larger. Indeed the general equilibrium costs of (revenue-neutral) auctioned permits can be negative for modest abatement levels.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-02-47.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-02-47
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  11. Ian W. H. Parry & Roberton C. Williams III & Lawrence H. Goulder, 1997. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," NBER Working Papers 5967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Pizer, William A. & Kopp, Raymond, 2005. "Calculating the Costs of Environmental Regulation," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1307-1351 Elsevier.
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  17. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W. H. Parry & Roberton C. Williams III & Dallas Burtraw, 1998. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Instruments for Environmental Protection in a Second-Best Setting," NBER Working Papers 6464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
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  25. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W. H. Parry & Dallas Burtraw, 1996. "Revenue-Raising vs. Other Approaches to Environmental Protection: The Critical Significance of Pre-Existing Tax Distortions," NBER Working Papers 5641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Jorgenson, D.W. & Wilcoxen, P.J., 1991. "Reducing US Carbon Dioxide Emissions: The Cost of Different Goals," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1575, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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