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

Author

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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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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-09-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Hertel, Thomas & Hummels, David & Ivanic, Maros & Keeney, Roman, 2007. "How confident can we be of CGE-based assessments of Free Trade Agreements?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 611-635, July.
    3. de Bovenberg, A Lans & Mooij, Ruud A, 1994. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1085-1089, September.
    4. Fullerton, Don, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxes: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 245-251, March.
    5. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams III, Roberton C. & Burtraw, Dallas, 1999. "The cost-effectiveness of alternative instruments for environmental protection in a second-best setting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 329-360, June.
    6. 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.
    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.
    8. Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2001. "Environmental controls, scarcity rents, and pre-existing distortions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 249-267, May.
    9. 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.
    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. 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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    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. 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.
    6. Zetterberg, Lars, 2014. "Benchmarking in the European Union Emissions Trading System: Abatement incentives," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 218-224.
    7. Orlov, Anton & Grethe, Harald, 2012. "Carbon taxation and market structure: A CGE analysis for Russia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 696-707.
    8. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2014. "Using the Tax System to Address Competition Issues With a Carbon Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 67(4), pages 779-806, December.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:eee:eneeco:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:332-347 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    carbon tax; tax interaction; carbon leakage;

    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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