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Climate Policy and Fiscal Constraints: Do Tax Interactions Outweigh Carbon Leakage?

  • Fischer, Carolyn


    (Resources for the Future)

  • Fox, Alan K.

Climate policymaking faces twin challenges of carbon leakage and public sector revenue requirements. A large literature advocates the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) pricing and recycling the revenues to lower distorting taxes as a way to minimize costs. In this paper, we explore the implications of labor tax interactions for the cost-effectiveness of border adjustments and other measures to cope with leakage. We find that, for plausible values of labor supply elasticities, the cost savings from revenue recycling are significant—from 15 to 25 percent. The cost savings from anti-leakage measures are generally smaller, but also significant, particularly for small coalitions or more binding reduction targets. Tax interactions further enhance the cost savings from border adjustments, but make other measures like rebates or exemptions less attractive.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-12-19.

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Date of creation: 23 Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-12-19
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  1. Parry Ian W. H. & Williams Roberton C., 2010. "What are the Costs of Meeting Distributional Objectives for Climate Policy?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-35, December.
  2. Michiel Evers & Ruud de Mooij & Daniel van Vuuren, 2005. "What explains the variation in estimates of labour supply elasticities?," CPB Discussion Paper 51, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  3. Mustafa H. Babiker & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Border Measures in Subglobal Climate Agreements," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 99-126.
  4. 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.
  5. Markusen, James R., 1975. "International externalities and optimal tax structures," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 15-29, February.
  6. repec:old:wpaper:346 is not listed on IDEAS
  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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