IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/4379.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Designing economic instruments for the environment in a decentralized fiscal system

Author

Listed:
  • Alm, James
  • Banzhaf, H. Spencer

Abstract

When external effects are important, markets will be inefficient, and economists have considered several broad classes of economic instruments to correct these inefficiencies. However, the standard economic analysis has tended to neglect important distinctions and interactions between the geographic scope of pollutants, the enforcement authority of various levels of government, and the fiscal responsibilities of the levels of government. For example, externalities generated in a particular local area may be confined to the local area or may spill over to other jurisdictions. Also, local governments may be well informed about how best to regulate or enforce pollution control within their jurisdiction, but they may not consider the effects of their actions on other jurisdictions. Finally, the existence of locally-generated waste emissions affects the appropriate assignment of both expenditure and tax responsibilities among levels of government. The standard analysis therefore focuses mainly upon an aggregate (or national) perspective, it typically ignores the possibility that the externality may be created and addressed by local governments, and it does not consider the implications of decentralization for the design of economic instruments targeted at environmental problems. This paper examines the implications of decentralization for the design of corrective policies; that is, how does one design economic instruments in a decentralized fiscal system in which externalities exist at the local level and in which subnational governments have the power to provide local public services, as well as to choose tax instruments that can both finance these expenditures and correct the market failures of externalities?

Suggested Citation

  • Alm, James & Banzhaf, H. Spencer, 2007. "Designing economic instruments for the environment in a decentralized fiscal system," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4379, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4379
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2007/10/24/000158349_20071024084328/Rendered/PDF/wps4379.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wildasin, David E., 2003. "Fiscal competition in space and time," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(11), pages 2571-2588, October.
    2. Rauscher, Michael, 1998. "Leviathan and Competition among Jurisdictions: The Case of Benefit Taxation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 59-67, July.
    3. Gray, Wayne B. & Shadbegian, R.J.Ronald J., 2004. "'Optimal' pollution abatement--whose benefits matter, and how much?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 510-534, May.
    4. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
    5. Hazilla, Michael & Kopp, Raymond J, 1990. "Social Cost of Environmental Quality Regulations: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 853-873, August.
    6. Bovenberg, A Lans & Goulder, Lawrence H, 1996. "Optimal Environmental Taxation in the Presence of Other Taxes: General-Equilibrium Analyses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 985-1000, September.
    7. Fullerton, Don & Kinnaman, Thomas C, 1996. "Household Responses to Pricing Garbage by the Bag," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 971-984, September.
    8. Clausing, Kimberly A., 2003. "Tax-motivated transfer pricing and US intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2207-2223, September.
    9. Juan-Pablo Montero, 2005. "Pollution Markets with Imperfectly Observed Emissions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 645-660, Autumn.
    10. Jack M. Mintz, 1992. "Is There a Future for Capital Income Taxation?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 108, OECD Publishing.
    11. Hikaru Ogawa & David E. Wildasin, 2009. "Think Locally, Act Locally: Spillovers, Spillbacks, and Efficient Decentralized Policymaking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1206-1217, September.
    12. Daniel L. Millimet, 2003. "Assessing the Empirical Impact of Environmental Federalism," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 711-733.
    13. John Douglas Wilson & Roger H. Gordon, 2003. "Expenditure Competition," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 399-417, April.
    14. Bartelsman, Eric J. & Beetsma, Roel M. W. J., 2003. "Why pay more? Corporate tax avoidance through transfer pricing in OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2225-2252, September.
    15. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons From Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 52(2), pages 305-322, June.
    16. Kornai, J, 1979. "Resource-Constrained versus Demand-Constrained Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 801-819, July.
    17. Silvana Dalmazzone, 2006. "Decentralization and the Environment," Chapters,in: Handbook of Fiscal Federalism, chapter 18 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    18. Huizinga, Harry & Nicodeme, Gaetan, 2006. "Foreign ownership and corporate income taxation: An empirical evaluation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1223-1244, July.
    19. Grubert, Harry, 1998. "Taxes and the division of foreign operating income among royalties, interest, dividends and retained earnings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 269-290, May.
    20. Silva, Emilson C. D. & Caplan, Arthur J., 1997. "Transboundary Pollution Control in Federal Systems," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 173-186, October.
    21. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 52(2), pages 269-304, June.
    22. Galeotti, Gianluigi & Breton, Albert, 1986. "An Economic Theory of Political Parties," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 47-65.
    23. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
    24. Levinson, Arik, 2003. "Environmental Regulatory Competition: A Status Report and Some New Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 56(1), pages 91-106, March.
    25. Roger H. Gordon, 1983. "An Optimal Taxation Approach to Fiscal Federalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 567-586.
    26. Fullerton Don & Kinnaman Thomas C., 1995. "Garbage, Recycling, and Illicit Burning or Dumping," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 78-91, July.
    27. Kritikos, Alexander S., 2004. "A penalty system to enforce policy measures under incomplete information," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 385-403, September.
    28. Ian W.H. Parry, 2005. "Fiscal Interactions and the Costs of Controlling Pollution from Electricity," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 849-869, Winter.
    29. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    30. James Alm, 1983. "The Optimal Structure of Intergovernmental Grants," Public Finance Review, , vol. 11(4), pages 387-417, October.
    31. Sigman, Hilary, 2003. "Letting States Do the Dirty Work: State Responsibility for Federal Environmental Regulation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 56(1), pages 107-122, March.
    32. Fox, William F. & Murray, Matthew N., 1997. "The Sales Tax and Electronic Commerce: So What's New?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(3), pages 573-92, September.
    33. Curtis Carlson & Dallas Burtraw & Maureen Cropper & Karen L. Palmer, 2000. "Sulfur Dioxide Control by Electric Utilities: What Are the Gains from Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1292-1326, December.
    34. Hilary Sigman, 2002. "International Spillovers and Water Quality in Rivers: Do Countries Free Ride?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1152-1159, September.
    35. Eric Helland & Andrew B. Whitford, "undated". "Pollution Incidence and Political Jurisdiction: Evidence from the TRI," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-28, Claremont Colleges.
    36. Fullerton, Don & West, Sarah E., 2002. "Can Taxes on Cars and on Gasoline Mimic an Unavailable Tax on Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 135-157, January.
    37. Oates, Wallace E. & Portney, Paul R., 2003. "The political economy of environmental policy," Handbook of Environmental Economics,in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 325-354 Elsevier.
    38. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
    39. Ellerman,A. Denny & Joskow,Paul L. & Schmalensee,Richard & Montero,Juan-Pablo & Bailey,Elizabeth M., 2005. "Markets for Clean Air," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023894, April.
      • Ellerman,A. Denny & Joskow,Paul L. & Schmalensee,Richard & Montero,Juan-Pablo & Bailey,Elizabeth M., 2000. "Markets for Clean Air," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521660839, April.
    40. Richard M. Bird & Robert D. Ebel, 2005. "Subsidiarity, Solidarity, and Asymmetry," International Tax Program Papers 0509, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
    41. Wilson, John Douglas & Wildasin, David E., 2004. "Capital tax competition: bane or boon," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1065-1091, June.
    42. Oates, Wallace E. & Schwab, Robert M., 1988. "Economic competition among jurisdictions: efficiency enhancing or distortion inducing?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 333-354, April.
    43. Fox, William F. & Murray, Matthew N., 1997. "The Sales Tax and Electronic Commerce: So What's New?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 50(3), pages 573-592, September.
    44. Hilary Sigman, 2007. "Decentralization and Environmental Quality: An International Analysis of Water Pollution," NBER Working Papers 13098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    45. Robert N. Stavins, 1998. "What Can We Learn from the Grand Policy Experiment? Lessons from SO2 Allowance Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 69-88, Summer.
    46. John A. List & Shelby Gerking, 2000. "Regulatory Federalism and Environmental Protection in the United States," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 453-471.
    47. Hahn, Robert W, 1989. "Economic Prescriptions for Environmental Problems: How the Patient Followed the Doctor's Orders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 95-114, Spring.
    48. Hahn, Robert W., 1990. "Regulatory constraints on environmental markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 149-175, July.
    49. Wildasin, David E., 1989. "Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 193-212, March.
    50. Keen, Michael J. & Kotsogiannis, Christos, 2004. "Tax competition in federations and the welfare consequences of decentralization," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 397-407, November.
    51. Baumol, William J, 1972. "On Taxation and the Control of Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 307-322, June.
    52. Wellisch,Dietmar, 2000. "Theory of Public Finance in a Federal State," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521630351, April.
    53. 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.
    54. Maria Garcia-Valiñas, 2007. "What level of decentralization is better in an environmental context? An application to water policies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 38(2), pages 213-229, October.
    55. Kruger, Joseph & Oates, Wallace E. & Pizer, William A., 2007. "Decentralization in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and Lessons for Global Policy," Discussion Papers dp-07-02, Resources For the Future.
    56. Evan Kwerel, 1977. "To Tell the Truth: Imperfect Information and Optimal Pollution Control," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 595-601.
    57. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, April.
    58. Bergstrom, Theodore C., 1976. "Regulation of externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1-2), pages 131-138.
    59. Helland, Eric & Whitford, Andrew B., 2003. "Pollution incidence and political jurisdiction: evidence from the TRI," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 403-424, November.
    60. Fredriksson, Per G. & Millimet, Daniel L., 2002. "Strategic Interaction and the Determination of Environmental Policy across U.S. States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 101-122, January.
    61. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
    62. Sigman, Hilary, 2005. "Transboundary spillovers and decentralization of environmental policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 82-101, July.
    63. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
    64. H. Spencer Banzhaf & B. Andrew Chupp, 2010. "Heterogeneous Harm vs. Spatial Spillovers: Environmental Federalism and US Air Pollution," NBER Working Papers 15666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    65. Thomas A. Barthold, 1994. "Issues in the Design of Environmental Excise Taxes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 133-151, Winter.
    66. Wellisch Dietmar, 1995. "Locational Choices of Firms and Decentralized Environmental Policy with Various Instruments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 290-310, May.
    67. Kunce, Mitch & Shogren, Jason F., 2005. "On interjurisdictional competition and environmental federalism," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 212-224, July.
    68. Nagase, Yoko & Silva, Emilson C. D., 2000. "Optimal Control of Acid Rain in a Federation with Decentralized Leadership and Information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 164-180, September.
    69. Swenson, Deborah L., 2001. "Tax Reforms and Evidence of Transfer Pricing," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 7-26, March.
    70. Bostedt, Göran & Bostedt, Göran, 2003. "Review - Thomas Sterner (2003): Policy Instruments for Environmental and Natural Resource Management," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 65-66.
    71. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons from Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 305-22, June.
    72. Tresch, Richard W. & Tresch, Richard W., 2002. "Public Finance," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780126990515.
    73. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
    74. James R. Markusen & Edward R. Morey & Nancy Olewiler, 1992. "Noncooperative Equilibria in Regional Environmental Policies When Plant Locations are Endogenous," NBER Working Papers 4051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    75. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
    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. repec:wsi:ccexxx:v:03:y:2012:i:04:n:s2010007812500182 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Millimet, Daniel L., 2013. "Environmental Federalism: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Fredriksson, Per G. & Wollscheid, Jim R., 2014. "Environmental decentralization and political centralization," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 402-410.
    4. William M. Shobe & Dallas Burtraw, 2012. "Rethinking Environmental Federalism In A Warming World," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(04), pages 1-33.
    5. Vallés-Giménez, Jaime & Zárate-Marco , Anabel, 2013. "Environmental taxation and industrial water use in Spain," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 25, pages 133-162.
    6. Alexeev, Alexander & Good, David H. & Krutilla, Kerry, 2016. "Environmental taxation and the double dividend in decentralized jurisdictions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 90-100.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Economics&Policies; Debt Markets; Taxation&Subsidies; Public Sector Economics&Finance; Emerging Markets;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:wbk:wbrwps:4379. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    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.