nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2017‒05‒21
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Environmental policy and inequality: A matter of life and death By Karine Constant
  2. Charging Drivers by the Pound: The Effects of the UK Vehicle Tax System By Davide Cerruti; Anna Alberini; Joshua Linn
  3. The Effect of Natural Disasters on Economic Activity in US Counties: A Century of Data By Leah Platt Boustan; Matthew E. Kahn; Paul W. Rhode; Maria Lucia Yanguas
  4. Can French environmental taxes really turn into green taxes ? By Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline

  1. By: Karine Constant (Université Paris Est, Erudite)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the economic implications of an environmental policy when we take into account the life expectancy of heterogeneous agents. In a framework in which everyone suffers from pollution, but health status depends also on individual human capital, we find that the economy may be stuck in a trap in which inequalities persistently grow, when the initial pollution intensity of production is too high. Moreover, we emphasize that such inequalities are costly in the long run for the economy, in particular in terms of health and growth. Therefore, we study whether a tax on pollution associated with an investment in pollution abatement can be used to overcome this situation. We show that a stricter environmental policy may allow the economy to escape from the inequality trap while it enhances its long-term growth rate, when initial inequalities are not too high.
    Keywords: Endogenous growth, Environmental policy, Human capital, Inequality, Longevity
    JEL: I14 O44 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2017–05
  2. By: Davide Cerruti (ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Anna Alberini (University of Maryland,USA); Joshua Linn (Resources of the Future, USA)
    Abstract: Policymakers have been considering vehicle and fuel taxes to reduce transportation greenhouse gas emissions, but there is little evidence on the relative efficacy of these approaches. We examine an annual vehicle registration tax, the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), which is based on carbon emissions rates. The UK first adopted the system in 2001 and made substantial changes to it in the following years. Using a highly disaggregated dataset of UK monthly registrations and characteristics of new cars, we estimate the effect of the VED on new vehicle registrations and carbon emissions. The VED increased the adoption of low-emissions vehicles and discouraged the purchase of very polluting vehicles, but it had a small effect on aggregate emissions. Using the empirical estimates, we compare the VED with hypothetical taxes that are proportional either to carbon emissions rates or to carbon emissions. The VED reduces total emissions twice as much as the emissions rate tax but by half as much as the emissions tax. Much of the advantage of the emissions tax arises from adjustments in miles driven, rather than the composition of the new car sales.
    Keywords: CO2 emissions, vehicle registration fees, carbon taxes, vehicle excise duty, UK
    JEL: H23 Q48 Q54 R48
    Date: 2017–05
  3. By: Leah Platt Boustan; Matthew E. Kahn; Paul W. Rhode; Maria Lucia Yanguas
    Abstract: Major natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy cause numerous fatalities, and destroy property and infrastructure. In any year, the U.S experiences dozens of smaller natural disasters as well. We construct a 90 year panel data set that includes the universe of natural disasters in the United States from 1920 to 2010. By exploiting spatial and temporal variation, we study how these shocks affected migration rates, home prices and local poverty rates. The most severe disasters increase out migration rates and lower housing prices, especially in areas at particular risk of disaster activity, but milder disasters have little effect.
    JEL: N42 Q5 R23
    Date: 2017–05
  4. By: Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: French environmental taxes are not really ecologically oriented. Their main aim is to raise revenues. Clear signs of this inappropriate direction are given by the large share of the energy taxes and by the low level of most tax rates, which for the most part, are only implicit tax rates on the polluting goods. An ecological tax reform would imply a global green tax shift with tax rates proportionate to the marginal damages. The success and the acceptation of such a reform by the taxpayers rely on the chosen recycling mechanism for the tax revenues, on government’s efforts in information and pedagogy, on transparency about the policy choices but also, somehow paradoxically, on audacity of actions.
    Abstract: Actuellement, la fiscalité environnementale française répond moins à une finalité écologique qu’à un objectif plus traditionnel de fiscalité de rendement. Les signes manifestes de cette inadéquation sont la très grande part prise par la fiscalité de l’énergie et le faible niveau de la plupart des taux de taxe, qui souvent ne frappent qu’implicitement les produits polluants. Réformer la fiscalité française supposerait de la « verdir » dans son ensemble en appliquant des taux de taxes en relation avec les dommages marginaux. La réussite de la réforme et son acceptation par les contribuables sont conditionnées par le mécanisme de redistribution associé, les efforts de pédagogie et d’information, la transparence mais aussi, paradoxalement, par l’audace des mesures prises.
    Keywords: tax progressivity,environmental tax,double dividend,contribution climat-énergie,écotaxe,double dividende,progressivité de l’impôt,fiscalité
    Date: 2015–06

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