nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2011‒11‒28
two papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. The Environment and Directed Technical Change By Acemoglu, Daron; Aghion, Philippe; Bursztyn, Leonardo; Hemous, David
  2. Energy taxes and oil price shock By Cremer, Helmuth; Gahvari, Firouz; Ladoux, Norbert

  1. By: Acemoglu, Daron; Aghion, Philippe; Bursztyn, Leonardo; Hemous, David
    Abstract: This paper introduces endogenous and directed technical change in a growth model with environmental constraints. A unique final good is produced by combining inputs from two sectors. One of these sectors uses "dirty" machines and thus creates environmental degradation. Research can be directed to improving the technology of machines in either sector. We characterize dynamic tax policies that achieve sustainable growth or maximize intertemporal welfare. We show that: (i) in the case where the inputs are sufficiently substitutable, sustainable long-run growth can be achieved with temporary taxation of dirty innovation and production; (ii) optimal policy involves both .carbon taxes. and research subsidies, so that excessive use of carbon taxes is avoided; (iii) delay in intervention is costly: the sooner and the stronger is the policy response, the shorter is the slow growth transition phase; (iv) the use of an exhaustible resource in dirty input production helps the switch to clean innovation under laissez-faire when the two inputs are substitutes. Under reasonable parameter values and with sufficient substitutability between inputs, it is optimal to redirect technical change towards clean technologies immediately and optimal environmental regulation need not reduce long-run growth.
    Keywords: directed technological change; environment; exhaustible resources; innovation
    JEL: C65 O30 O31 O33
    Date: 2011–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8660&r=res
  2. By: Cremer, Helmuth; Gahvari, Firouz; Ladoux, Norbert
    Abstract: This paper examines if an energy price shock should be compensated by a reduction in energy taxes to mitigate its impact on consumer prices. Such an adjustment is often debated and advocated for redistributive reasons. Our investigation is based on a model that characterizes second-best optimal taxes in the presence of an externality generated by energy consumption. Energy is used by households as a consumption good and by the productive sector as an input. We calibrate this model on US data and proceed to simulations of this empirical model. We assume that energy prices are subject to an exogenous shock. For different levels of this shock, we calculate the optimal tax mix including income, commodity and energy taxes. We show that optimal energy taxes are affected by redistributive consideration and that optimal energy tax is less than the Pigouvian tax (marginal social damage). The difference is an implicit subsidy representing roughly 10% of the Pigouvian price. Interestingly, the simulations show that an variation in the energy price only has an almost negligible effect on this percentage. In other words, even a very large oil price increase will only have a small effect on the optimal tax on energy. Nevertheless, it appears that the energy tax is used to mitigate the impact of the energy shock. However, this result is not explained by redistributive consideration but by the fact that the Pigouvian tax (rate) decreases as the price of energy increases. This is a purely arithmetic adjustment due to the fact that the marginal social dammage does not change. Consequently, the marginal dammage as a percentage of the energy price (which defines the Pigouvian tax rate) decreases as the price increases.
    JEL: H21 H23
    Date: 2011–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:tse:wpaper:24979&r=res

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