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Investment in Energy Infrastructure and the Tax Code

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  • Gilbert E. Metcalf

Abstract

Federal tax policy provides a broad array of incentives for energy investment. I review those policies and construct estimates of marginal effective tax rates for different energy capital investments as of 2007. Effective tax rates vary widely across investment classes. I then consider investment in wind generation capital and regress investment against a user cost of capital measure along with other controls. I find that wind investment is strongly responsive to changes in tax policy. Based on the coefficient estimates the elasticity of investment with respect to the user cost of capital is in the range of -1 to -2. I also demonstrate that the federal production tax credit plays a key role in driving wind investment over the past eighteen years.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2009. "Investment in Energy Infrastructure and the Tax Code," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0743, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0743
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. King, Mervyn A. & Fullerton, Don, 2010. "The Taxation of Income from Capital," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226436319.
    2. Hassett, Kevin A & Metcalf, Gilbert E, 1999. "Investment with Uncertain Tax Policy: Does Random Tax Policy Discourage Investment?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 372-393, July.
    3. Kahn, Edward & Goldman, Charles A., 1987. "Impact of tax reform on renewable energy and cogeneration projects," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 215-226, October.
    4. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2007. "Federal Tax Policy towards Energy," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 21, pages 145-184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Carlson, Curtis & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2008. "Energy Tax Incentives and the Alternative Minimum Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 61(3), pages 477-491, September.
    6. Mulder, Arjen, 2008. "Do economic instruments matter? Wind turbine investments in the EU(15)," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2980-2991, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laurence Kotlikoff & Felix Kubler & Andrey Polbin & Jeffrey Sachs & Simon Scheidegger, 2021. "Making Carbon Taxation A Generational Win Win," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(1), pages 3-46, February.
    2. Haggerty, Julia H. & Haggerty, Mark & Rasker, Ray, 2014. "Uneven Local Benefits of Renewable Energy in the U.S. West: Property Tax Policy Effects," Western Economics Forum, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 13(1), pages 1-16.
    3. Weber, Jeremy G. & Wang, Yongsheng & Chomas, Maxwell, 2016. "A quantitative description of state-level taxation of oil and gas production in the continental U.S," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 289-301.
    4. Zhishuang Zhu & Hua Liao, 2019. "Do subsidies improve the financial performance of renewable energy companies? Evidence from China," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 95(1), pages 241-256, January.
    5. Qiuyun Zhao & Zeyu Li & Zuoxiang Zhao & Jinqiu Ma, 2019. "Industrial Policy and Innovation Capability of Strategic Emerging Industries: Empirical Evidence from Chinese New Energy Vehicle Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(10), pages 1-17, May.
    6. Jie Mao & Chunhua Wang, 2016. "Tax incentives and environmental protection: evidence from China’s taxpayer-level data," China Finance and Economic Review, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, December.
    7. Sun, Chuanwang & Zhan, Yanhong & Du, Gang, 2020. "Can value-added tax incentives of new energy industry increase firm's profitability? Evidence from financial data of China's listed companies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    electricity; wind power; production tax credits; tax subsidies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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