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Differentiation of Green Taxes: A Political-Economy Analysis for Germany

  • Anger, Niels
  • Böhringer, Christoph
  • Lange, Andreas

In this paper we study political-economy determinants of the differentiation of environmental taxes between sectors. Using a common-agency model, we provide predictions on tax differentiation which are then tested using data from the German Ecological Tax Reform. As the reform is revenue neutral and reduces labor costs, tax differentiation is not only determined by the activity of lobby groups favoring reduced tax rates, but also by the groups? interest in revenue rebates to labor. Empirical data underpin our theoretical findings: A regression analysis of Germany?s green tax reform explains environmental tax differentiation by the presence of sectoral interest groups. Besides market concentration and energy demand elasticities, the exposure of industries to international trade flows plays an important role in the environmental tax design.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 06-03.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:4582
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  1. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  2. Bovenberg, A.L. & van der Ploeg, F., 1993. "Optimal taxation, public goods and environmental policy with involuntary unemployment," Discussion Paper 1993-77, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Aidt, Toke S., 1998. "Political internalization of economic externalities and environmental policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-16, July.
  4. Richter, Wolfram F. & Schneider, Kerstin, 2003. "Energy taxation: Reasons for discriminating in favor of the production sector," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 461-476, June.
  5. Potters, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 1992. " Lobbying and Asymmetric Information," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 269-92, October.
  6. Bohringer, Christoph & Thomas F Rutherford, 2003. "In Search of a Rationale for Differentiated Environmental Taxes," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 26, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Bohringer, Christoph & Rutherford, Thomas F., 1997. "Carbon Taxes with Exemptions in an Open Economy: A General Equilibrium Analysis of the German Tax Initiative," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 189-203, February.
  8. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. 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.
  10. Fredriksson, Per G., 1997. "The Political Economy of Pollution Taxes in a Small Open Economy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 44-58, May.
  11. Rauscher, Michael, 1994. "On Ecological Dumping," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 822-40, Supplemen.
  12. Stefan Bach, 1997. "Steuerreform in Deutschland," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 66(3-4), pages 291-316.
  13. Krutilla, Kerry, 1991. "Environmental regulation in an open economy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 127-142, March.
  14. Eric Nævdal & Richard Brazee, 2000. "A Guide to Extracting Information from Environmental Pressure Groups," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(1), pages 105-119, May.
  15. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-223989 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Stefan Bach & Michael Kohlhaas & Bernd Meyer & Barbara Praetorius & Heinz Welsch, 2003. "Auswirkungen und Perspektiven der Ökologischen Steuerreform in Deutschland: Eine modellgestützte Analyse-super-," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 223-238, 05.
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