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

  • Fischer, Carolyn


    (Resources for the Future)

  • Fox, Alan K.

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.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-09-12.

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Date of creation: 19 May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-09-12
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  1. 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.
  2. Burtraw, Dallas & Parry, Ian & Goulder, Lawrence & Williams III, Roberton, 1998. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Instruments for Environmental Protection in a Second-Best Setting," Discussion Papers dp-98-22, Resources For the Future.
  3. Hertel, Thomas & David Hummels & Maros Ivanic & Roman Keeney, 2003. "How Confident Can We Be in CGE-Based Assessments of Free Trade Agreements?," GTAP Working Papers 1324, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  4. Carolyn Fischer & Alan K. Fox, 2007. "Output-Based Allocation of Emissions Permits for Mitigating Tax and Trade Interactions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 575-599.
  5. de Bovenberg, A Lans & Mooij, Ruud A, 1994. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1085-89, September.
  6. Don Fullerton & Gilbert Metcalf, 1997. "Environmental Controls, Scarcity Rents, and Pre-Existing Distortions," NBER Working Papers 6091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sterner, Thomas & Hoglund Isaksson, Lena, 2006. "Refunded emission payments theory, distribution of costs, and Swedish experience of NOx abatement," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 93-106, April.
  8. Fullerton, Don, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxes: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 245-51, March.
  9. Sergey V. Paltsev, 2001. "The Kyoto Protocol: Regional and Sectoral Contributions to the Carbon Leakage," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 53-80.
  10. Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams III, Roberton C., 1999. "A second-best evaluation of eight policy instruments to reduce carbon emissions," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 347-373, August.
  11. 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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