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Carbon Lorenz Curves

  • L.F.M. Groot

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it exhibits that standard tools in the measurement of income inequality, such as the Lorenz curve and the Gini-index, can successfully be applied to the issues of inequality measurement of carbon emissions and the equity of abatement policies across countries. These tools allow policy-makers and the general public to grasp at a single glance the impact of conventional distribution rules such as equal caps or grandfathering, or more sophisticated ones, on the distribution of greenhouse gas emissions. Second, using the Samuelson rule for the optimal provision of a public good, the Pareto-optimal distribution of carbon emissions is compared with the distribution that follows if countries follow Nash-Cournot abatement strategies. It is shown that the Paretooptimal distribution under the Samuelson rule can be approximated by the equal cap division, represented by the diagonal in the Lorenz curve diagram.

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File URL: http://dspace.library.uu.nl/bitstream/handle/1874/309689/08_33.pdf
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Paper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08-33.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0833
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  1. William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
  2. Duro, Juan Antonio & Padilla, Emilio, 2006. "International inequalities in per capita CO2 emissions: A decomposition methodology by Kaya factors," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 170-187, March.
  3. Hedenus, Fredrik & Azar, Christian, 2005. "Estimates of trends in global income and resource inequalities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 351-364, November.
  4. Padilla, Emilio & Serrano, Alfredo, 2006. "Inequality in CO2 emissions across countries and its relationship with income inequality: A distributive approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(14), pages 1762-1772, September.
  5. William D. Nordhaus, 2006. "The "Stern Review" on the Economics of Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 12741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mark Heil & Quentin Wodon, 2000. "Future Inequality in CO2 Emissions and the Impact of Abatement Proposals," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(2), pages 163-181, October.
  7. Kristen A. Sheeran, 2006. "Who Should Abate Carbon Emissions? A Note," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 35(2), pages 89-98, October.
  8. Eyckmans, Johan & Proost, Stef & Schokkaert, Erik, 1993. "Efficiency and Distribution in Greenhouse Negotiations," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 363-97.
  9. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2007. "Public Policies against Global Warming," CESifo Working Paper Series 2087, CESifo Group Munich.
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