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Combining Rebates with Carbon Taxes: Optimal Strategies for Coping with Emissions Leakage and Tax Interactions

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  • Fischer, Carolyn

    (Resources for the Future)

  • Fox, Alan K.

Abstract

Emissions regulations like carbon pricing raise the price of covered sector goods and thus can interact with and exacerbate other preexisting distortions in the economy. One such distortion is labor taxes. Another is emissions “leakage” due to the lack of comparable emissions pricing abroad or among other emitting sectors at home. A potential response is to combine the emissions tax with a rebate to production to mitigate the price increases. We use an optimal tax framework to solve for the optimal emissions tax and output rebate, given these distortions. We then employ a multisector computable general equilibrium model based on the GTAP framework to simulate the effects of a $50 per-ton carbon tax on the major emissions-intensive sectors in the U.S. economy and estimate optimal rebates by sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Fischer, Carolyn & Fox, Alan K., 2009. "Combining Rebates with Carbon Taxes: Optimal Strategies for Coping with Emissions Leakage and Tax Interactions," Discussion Papers dp-09-12, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-09-12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Bernard, Alain L. & Fischer, Carolyn & Fox, Alan K., 2007. "Is there a rationale for output-based rebating of environmental levies?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 83-101, May.
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    11. Roberton C. Williams, 2000. "Health Effects in a Model of Second-Best Environmental Taxation or Reconsidering "Reconsidering the Tax-Interaction Effect"," NBER Working Papers 8048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Monjon, Stéphanie & Quirion, Philippe, 2011. "Addressing leakage in the EU ETS: Border adjustment or output-based allocation?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1957-1971, September.
    2. Boehringer Christoph & Fischer Carolyn & Rosendahl Knut Einar, 2010. "The Global Effects of Subglobal Climate Policies," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-35, December.
    3. Meunier, Guy & Ponssard, Jean-Pierre & Quirion, Philippe, 2014. "Carbon leakage and capacity-based allocations: Is the EU right?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 262-279.
    4. Robert W. Hahn & Robert N. Stavins, 2011. "The Effect of Allowance Allocations on Cap-and-Trade System Performance," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(S4), pages 267-294.
    5. Knut Einar Rosendahl & Halvor Briseid Storrøsten, 2015. "Allocation Of Emission Allowances: Impacts On Technology Investments," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 6(03), pages 1-22.
    6. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2014. "Using the Tax System to Address Competition Issues With a Carbon Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 67(4), pages 779-806, December.
    7. Heather Klemick, 2012. "What is the Optimal Offsets Discount under a Second-Best Cap & Trade Policy?," NCEE Working Paper Series 201204, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jul 2012.
    8. Joseph E. Aldy & Alan J. Krupnick & Richard G. Newell & Ian W. H. Parry & William A. Pizer, 2010. "Designing Climate Mitigation Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 903-934, December.
    9. Zhu, Lei & Zhang, Xiao-Bing & Li, Yuan & Wang, Xu & Guo, Jianxin, 2017. "Can an emission trading scheme promote the withdrawal of outdated capacity in energy-intensive sectors? A case study on China's iron and steel industry," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 332-347.
    10. Fischer, Carolyn & Fox, Alan K., 2009. "Comparing Policies to Combat Emissions Leakage: Border Tax Adjustments versus Rebates," Discussion Papers dp-09-02, Resources For the Future.
    11. Li, Haoyang & Wu, Nan, 2022. "Emission pricing, emission rebound, and the coverage scope of incomplete regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 113(C).
    12. Bishwanath Goldar & Meera Bhalla, 2015. "Scope for Reducing CO2 Emissions of Indian Manufacturing: Its Likely Impact on Export Competitiveness," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 6(03), pages 1-27.
    13. Zetterberg, Lars, 2014. "Benchmarking in the European Union Emissions Trading System: Abatement incentives," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 218-224.
    14. Brown, David P. & Eckert, Andrew & Eckert, Heather, 2018. "Carbon pricing with an output subsidy under imperfect competition: The case of Alberta's restructured electricity market," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 102-123.
    15. Orlov, Anton & Grethe, Harald, 2012. "Carbon taxation and market structure: A CGE analysis for Russia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 696-707.
    16. Fischer, Carolyn & Fox, Alan K., 2012. "Climate policy and fiscal constraints: Do tax interactions outweigh carbon leakage?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 218-227.
    17. Xenophon, Aleksis Kazubiernis & Hill, David John, 2019. "Emissions reduction and wholesale electricity price targeting using an output-based mechanism," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 242(C), pages 1050-1063.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    carbon tax; tax interaction; carbon leakage;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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