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Regressivity of environmental taxation: myth or reality?

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  • Katri Kosonen

    () (European Commission)

Abstract

This paper first presents an overview of the various factors that in light of the economic literature should be taken into account in the analysis of tax incidence of environmental taxation. It then explores the main empirical findings, in particular those which make a distinction between the distributional effects of transport-related taxes and those of other environmental taxes. This includes also some less well-known evidence from the Nordic countries. In the final section it presents some recent evidence on the distributional impact of energy taxation in the EU member states included in the impact assessment of the revision of the European Union’s Energy Tax Directive.

Suggested Citation

  • Katri Kosonen, 2012. "Regressivity of environmental taxation: myth or reality?," Taxation Papers 32, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:tax:taxpap:0032
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    File URL: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/sites/taxation/files/resources/documents/taxation/gen_info/economic_analysis/tax_papers/taxation_paper_32_en.pdf
    File Function: final version, 2012
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gilbert E. Metcalf & Aparna Mathur & Kevin A. Hassett, 2011. "Distributional Impacts in a Comprehensive Climate Policy Package," NBER Chapters,in: The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy, pages 21-34 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. James M. Poterba, 1991. "Is the Gasoline Tax Regressive?," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 145-164 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bureau, Benjamin, 2011. "Distributional effects of a carbon tax on car fuels in France," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 121-130, January.
    4. Copenhagen Economics, 2007. "Study on reduced VAT applied to goods and services in the Member States of the EU," Taxation Studies 0018, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    5. Don Fullerton, 2008. "Distributional Effects of Environmental and Energy Policy: An Introduction," NBER Working Papers 14241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Rausch, Sebastian & Metcalf, Gilbert E. & Reilly, John M., 2011. "Distributional impacts of carbon pricing: A general equilibrium approach with micro-data for households," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(S1), pages 20-33.
    7. Corbett Grainger & Charles Kolstad, 2010. "Who Pays a Price on Carbon?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 46(3), pages 359-376, July.
    8. Terry Barker & Jonathan Köhler, 1998. "Equity and ecotax reform in the EU: achieving a 10 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions using excise duties," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 375-402, November.
    9. Johnstone, Nick & Alavalapati, Janaki R.R., 1998. "The Distributional Effects of Environmental Tax Reform," Discussion Papers 24140, International Institute for Environment and Development, Environmental Economics Programme.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Schreiber, Tim, 2017. "Post-crisis economic policy coordination in the EU: The European Semester as trigger for the Europeanization of national policies? An analysis of the European Semester's impact on French environmental," PIPE - Papers on International Political Economy 29/2017, Free University Berlin, Center for International Political Economy.
    2. European Commission, 2013. "Tax reforms in EU Member States - Tax policy challenges for economic growth and fiscal sustainability – 2013 Report," Taxation Papers 38, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    3. Bernardi, Luigi, 2014. "Tax reforms in EU Member States subce rhe turn of the New centuri: selected observations," MPRA Paper 56856, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. European Commission, 2012. "Tax reforms in EU Member States - Tax policy challenges for economic growth and fiscal sustainability – 2012 Report," Taxation Papers 34, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    5. Spengel, Christoph & Heckemeyer, Jost Henrich & Bräutigam, Rainer & Nicolay, Katharina & Klar, Oliver & Stutzenberger, Kathrin, 2016. "The effects of tax reforms to address the debt-equity bias on the cost of capital and on effective tax rates," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, volume 65, number 148156.
    6. Shkarlet, Serhiy & Petrakov, Iaroslav, 2013. "Environmental Taxation Evolution in Ukraine: Trends, Challenges and Outlook," MPRA Paper 45168, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 May 2013.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    European Union; taxation; environmental taxes; redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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