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Climate Policy and Optimal Public Debt

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  • Runkel, Marco
  • Kellner, Maximilian

Abstract

This paper analyzes the optimal level of public debt when taxes are used not only for funding public expenditures but also for correcting externalities from climate change. Taking into account externalities may imply the optimal policy to deviate from tax smoothing. Provided accumulated marginal damages from today's consumption are larger than those from tomorrow's consumption, the inclusion of environmental externalities decreases (increases) optimal public debt if tax rates are on the increasing (decreasing) side of the Laffer curve. The reversed holds if the accumulated marginal damage increases over time. Allowing for endogenous adaptation investments reduces the deviation from tax smoothing.

Suggested Citation

  • Runkel, Marco & Kellner, Maximilian, 2018. "Climate Policy and Optimal Public Debt," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181639, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc18:181639
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    Cited by:

    1. Kellner, Maximilian, 2020. "Environmental Pollution & the Political Economy of Public Debt," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224561, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    environmental externality; public debt; tax smoothing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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