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The taxation of motor fuel : international comparison

  • Ley, Eduardo
  • Boccardo, Jessica

This paper assesses whether the level of taxation of motor fuel is broadly appropriate in a group of countries (OECD, BRICs and South Africa) accounting for more than 80 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis deals with emissions from oil combustion in transport, which account for about 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. In the benchmark specification, six countries (responsible, in turn, for more than 40 percent of worldwide motor-fuel greenhouse gas world emissions) would be undertaxing motor fuel. The authors evaluate the sensitivity of the results to the values of the elasticities and externalities that used in the analysis. They find that varying the values of these parameters (within the level of uncertainty reasonably associated with them) significantly affects the results. This implies that, while informative, the results must be taken as indicative. Further analysis for a particular country must rely on a well-informed choice for the values of the country-specific parameters.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5212.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5212
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  1. Larry Karp & David M. Newbery, 1992. "Dynamically Consistent Oil Import Tariffs," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-21, February.
  2. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521265638 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Zhang, ZhongXiang & Baranzini, Andrea, 2004. "What do we know about carbon taxes? An inquiry into their impacts on competitiveness and distribution of income," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 507-518, March.
  4. J. A. Mirrlees, 1976. "Optimal Tax Theory: A Synthesis," Working papers 176, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Karp, Larry & Newbery, David M., 1991. "Optimal tariffs on exhaustible resources," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3-4), pages 285-299, May.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521397421 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Farzin, Y. H., 1996. "Optimal pricing of environmental and natural resource use with stock externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 31-57, October.
  8. Enrique G. Mendoza & Assaf Razin & Linda L. Tesar, 1994. "Effective Tax Rates in Macroeconomics: Cross-Country Estimates of Tax Rates on Factor Incomes and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Aldy, Joseph E. & Ley, Eduardo & Parry, Ian, 2008. "A Tax–Based Approach to Slowing Global Climate Change," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(3), pages 493-517, September.
  10. Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1982. "On Capturing Oil Rents with a National Excise Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 194-201, March.
  11. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
  12. Amundsen, Eirik S. & Schob, Ronnie, 1999. "Environmental taxes on exhaustible resources," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 311-329, June.
  13. Pearce, David W, 1991. "The Role of Carbon Taxes in Adjusting to Global Warming," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 938-48, July.
  14. Maskin, Eric S & Newbery, David M, 1990. "Disadvantageous Oil Tariffs and Dynamic Consistency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 143-56, March.
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