IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/tuf/tuftec/9801.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Distributional Analysis of an Environmental Tax Shift

Author

Listed:
  • Gilbert E. Metcalf

    ()

Abstract

I use data from the 1994 Consumer Expenditure Survey as well as other sources to measure the distributional impact of green tax reforms and consumption tax reforms using both annual income and lifetime income approaches to rank households. A modest tax reform in which environmental taxes equal to 10% of federal receipts are collected has a negligible impact on the income distribution when the funds are rebated to households through reductions in the payroll tax and personal income tax. The degree of income shifting can be adjusted with changes in how the revenues are returned to households and it is possible to increase the progressivity of the tax system with an environmental tax reform. I then compare these reforms to a reform that shifts the tax base from income to consumption. In this case, it is difficult to maintain the level of progressivity that exists under the current income tax although ways exist by which the regressivity of the reform could be blunted. Whether the long term growth gains from consumption tax reform would offset the initial increase in regressivity remains to be determined. A shift to greater reliance on environmental taxes would reduce the progressivity of the tax system. This analysis indicates that reforms can be designed to preserve the existing income distribution. In fact, it appears to be easier to maintain distributional neutrality with a Green tax reform than with a comprehensive consumption tax reform.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1998. "A Distributional Analysis of an Environmental Tax Shift," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9801, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:9801
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/papers/9801.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Poterba, James M, 1989. "Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 325-330, May.
    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. 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. Lawrence H. Goulder, 1994. "Energy Taxes: Traditional Efficiency Effects and Environmental Implications," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 8, pages 105-158 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bovenberg, A.L. & Goulder, L.H., 1996. "Optimal environmental taxation in the presence of other taxes : General equilibrium analyses," Other publications TiSEM 5d4b7517-c5c8-4ef6-ab76-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. N/A, 1985. "General Policy," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 41(1), pages 74-79, January.
    7. Feldstein, Martin, 1988. "Imputing Corporate Tax Liabilities to Individual Taxpayers," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 37-59, March.
    8. Ballard, Charles L. & Fullerton, Don & Shoven, John B. & Whalley, John, 2009. "A General Equilibrium Model for Tax Policy Evaluation," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226036335, May.
    9. 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.
    10. Daniel R. Feenberg & Andrew W. Mitrusi & James M. Poterba, 1997. "Distributional Effects of Adopting a National Retail Sales Tax," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 11, pages 49-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Feldstein, Martin, 1988. "Imputing Corporate Tax Liabilities to Individual Taxpayers," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 37-59, March.
    12. Parry Ian W. H., 1995. "Pollution Taxes and Revenue Recycling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 64-77, November.
    13. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1997. "Measuring the Incidence of a National Retail Sales Tax: Annual Versus Lifetime Incidence Measures," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9702, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    14. Nicholas Bull & Kevin A. Hassett & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1994. "Who Pays Broad-Based Energy Taxes? Computing Lifetime and Regional Incidence," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 145-164.
    15. Pearce, David W, 1991. "The Role of Carbon Taxes in Adjusting to Global Warming," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 938-948, July.
    16. Martin Feldstein, 1987. "Imputing Corporate Tax Liabilities to Individual Taxpayers," NBER Working Papers 2349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. N/A, 1985. "General Policy," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 41(1), pages 112-117, January.
    18. Don Fullerton & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1997. "Environmental Taxes and the Double Dividends Hypothesis: Did You Really Expect Something for Nothing?," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9706, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Paul O'Brien & Ann Vourc'h, 2002. "Encouraging Environmentally Sustainable Growth: Experience in OECD Countries," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 93-111, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Wang, Qian & Hubacek, Klaus & Feng, Kuishuang & Wei, Yi-Ming & Liang, Qiao-Mei, 2016. "Distributional effects of carbon taxation," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 1123-1131.
    4. Oladosu, Gbadebo & Rose, Adam, 2007. "Income distribution impacts of climate change mitigation policy in the Susquehanna River Basin Economy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 520-544, May.
    5. David Yu, 1998. "Rational Bubbles Under Diverse Information," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9816, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    6. James Boyce, 2003. "Inequality and Environmental Protection," Working Papers wp52, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    7. David Yu, 1998. "Two Equivalence Theorems For Government Finance," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9817, Department of Economics, Tufts University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Tax shift in Wikipedia English ne '')

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:9801. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marcus Weir). General contact details of provider: http://ase.tufts.edu/economics .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.