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Optimal Dynamic Carbon Taxation in a Life-Cycle Model with Distortionary Fiscal Policy

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  • Rausch, Sebastian
  • Abrell, Jan

Abstract

We quantitatively characterize optimal carbon, capital, and labor income taxes in an economy-climate integrated assessment model that features overlapping generations and distortionary fiscal policy. First, we show that the optimal carbon tax significantly differs from the Pigouvian carbon levy in a first-best setting with overlapping generations in which fully rational households optimize over finite lifetimes. The key driving force behind this result is the life-cycle structure of the our model, in conjunction with endogenously chosen labor supply. We also show that the assumed labor supply elasticity is important for the size of deviation of the optimal carbon tax from the Pigouvian tax, but not the existence of the deviation from Pigouvian pricing. Second, interacting life-cycle household behavior with distortionary fiscal policy is shown to further drive a wedge between the second-best optimal carbon tax and a Pigouvian carbon levy.

Suggested Citation

  • Rausch, Sebastian & Abrell, Jan, 2014. "Optimal Dynamic Carbon Taxation in a Life-Cycle Model with Distortionary Fiscal Policy," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100513, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc14:100513
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "A Decade of Debt," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Miguel Fuentes D. & Claudio E. Raddatz & Carmen M. Reinhart (ed.), Capital Mobility and Monetary Policy, edition 1, volume 18, chapter 4, pages 97-135, Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Rasmussen, Tobias N. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2004. "Modeling overlapping generations in a complementarity format," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1383-1409, April.
    3. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz & Ladoux, Norbert, 1998. "Externalities and optimal taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 343-364, December.
    4. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2009. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea after All!," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 25-48, March.
    5. Tobias Rasmussen, 2003. "Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Abatement: An Overlapping Generations Perspective," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 99-119, January.
    6. Rausch, Sebastian, 2013. "Fiscal consolidation and climate policy: An overlapping generations perspective," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(S1), pages 134-148.
    7. Lau, Morten I. & Pahlke, Andreas & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2002. "Approximating infinite-horizon models in a complementarity format: A primer in dynamic general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 577-609, April.
    8. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    9. Leach, Andrew J., 2009. "The welfare implications of climate change policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 151-165, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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