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Summary Report No. 120

Energy taxes, resource taxes and quantity rationing for climate protection
K. Eisenack, O. Edenhofer, M. Kalkuhl (November 2010)


Economic sectors react strategically to climate policy, aiming at a re-distribution of rents. Established analysis suggests a Pigouvian emission tax as efficient instrument, but also recommends factor input or output taxes under specific conditions. However, existing studies leave it open whether output taxes, input taxes or input rationing perform better, and at best only touch their distributional consequences. When emissions correspond to extracted ressources, it is questionable whether taxes are effective at all. We determine the effectiveness, efficiency and functional income distribution for these instruments in the energy and resource sector, based on a game theoretic growth model with explicit factor markets and policy instruments. Market equilibrium depends on a government that acts as a Stackelberg leader with a climate protection goal. We find that resource taxes and cumulative resource quantity rationing achieve this objective efficiently. Energy taxation is only second best. Mitigation generates a substantial “climate rent” in the resource sector that can be converted to transfer incomes by taxes


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