Pollution Taxes in a Second-Best World
It is a pleasure to address this group today. I have decided to spend my time discussing recent issues involved in setting environmental taxes in a second-best world. This is an area that has seen an explosion of research and new insights over the past decade and also an area with which many EU countries (as well as candidate EU countries) have been grappling. The basic message of my talk (if there is one) is that the policy prescriptions that most of us learned when studying environmental policy in isolation (that is, in partial equilibrium) often must be significantly adapted once one moves to a general equilibrium framework with pre-existing distortions. Put this way, there is nothing novel here; it is simply a restatement of the Theorem of the Second Best (Lipsey and Lancaster (1956-1957)). This, however, risks trivializing the literature of the past decade. As a contributor to that literature, I'd prefer not to do that. More to the point, there are some very interesting results that bear discussion.
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- Goulder, Lawrence & Bovenberg, A. Lans, 2000.
"Neutralizing the Adverse Industry Impacts of CO2 Abatement Policies: What Does It Cost?,"
dp-00-27, Resources For the Future.
- A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder, 2001. "Neutralizing the Adverse Industry Impacts of CO2 Abatement Policies: What Does It Cost?," NBER Chapters, in: Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy, pages 45-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder, 2000. "Neutralizing the Adverse Industry Impacts of CO2 Abatement Policies: What Does it Cost?," NBER Working Papers 7654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bovenberg, A.L. & van der Ploeg, F., 1992.
"Environmental policy, public finance and the labour market in a second-best world,"
1992-43, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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- Bovenberg, A Lans & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1992. "Environmental Policy, Public Finance and the Labour Market in a Second-best World," CEPR Discussion Papers 745, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bovenberg, A.L. & Van Der Ploeg, F., 1992. "Environmental Policy, Public Finance and the Labour Market in a Second- Best World," Papers 9243, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
- Mustafa H. Babiker & Gilbert E. Metcalf & John Reilly, 2002.
"Tax Distortions and Global Climate Policy,"
Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University
0211, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Atkinson, Anthony B & Stern, N H, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 119-28, January.
- de Bovenberg, A Lans & Mooij, Ruud A, 1994.
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American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1085-89, September.
- Bovenberg, A Lans & de Mooij, Ruud A, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 252-53, March.
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