Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business

No 05-2017: Taxing consumption to mitigate carbon leakage

Kevin R. Kaushal () and Knut Einar Rosendahl ()
Additional contact information
Kevin R. Kaushal: School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Postal: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business, P.O. Box 5003 NMBU, N-1432 Ås, Norway
Knut Einar Rosendahl: School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Postal: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business, P.O. Box 5003 NMBU, N-1432 Ås, Norway

Abstract: Unilateral actions to reduce CO2 emissions could lead to carbon leakage such as relocation of emission-intensive and trade-exposed industries (EITE). To mitigate such leakage, countries often supplement an emissions trading system (ETS) with free allocation of allowances to exposed industries, e.g. in the form of output-based allocation (OBA). This paper examines the welfare effects of supplementing OBA with a consumption tax on EITE goods. In particular, we investigate the case when only a subset of countries involved in a joint ETS introduces such a tax. The analytical results suggest that the consumption tax would have unambiguously global welfare improving effects, and under certain conditions have welfare improving effects for the tax introducing country as well. Numerical simulations in the context of the EU ETS support the analytical findings, including that the consumption tax is welfare improving for the single country that implements the tax.

Keywords: Carbon leakage; Output-based allocation; Consumption tax

JEL-codes: D61; F18; H23; Q54

37 pages, September 21, 2017

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