Economics at your fingertips  

Do carbon taxes affect economic and environmental efficiency? The case of British Columbia’s manufacturing plants

Subal C. Kumbhakar, Oleg Badunenko and Michael Willox

Energy Economics, 2022, vol. 115, issue C

Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of British Columbia’s carbon tax on manufacturers’ economic and environmental performance in a unified modeling framework that allows for a critical distinction between efficiency, technical change, and total factor productivity as performance measures. In contrast to most papers that examine environmental policy impacts on either the economy or the environment, our approach combines a by-production model within a stochastic frontier framework to evaluate the tax’s impacts on both economic and environmental efficiency. Our findings suggest that a 1.0% increase in the carbon tax improved manufacturers’ efficiency in producing desirable output (real sales of manufactured goods) by 0.5%. In addition, the same 1.0% increase in the carbon tax improved manufacturers’ environmental efficiency for greenhouse gas (GHGs) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by the same amount, 0.2%. However, the carbon tax led to lower environmental efficiency for emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX), −0.3%. In addition, our use of a rich plant-level dataset reveals considerable heterogeneity in manufacturers’ efficiency responses to the tax. Finally, we suggest that lower efficiency levels for undesirable outputs than desirable outputs indicate that the relative cost of adjusting production processes to improve efficiency favors economic efficiency over environmental efficiency.

Keywords: Efficiency; Carbon tax; Stochastic frontier model; By-production model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2022.106359

Access Statistics for this article

Energy Economics is currently edited by R. S. J. Tol, Beng Ang, Lance Bachmeier, Perry Sadorsky, Ugur Soytas and J. P. Weyant

More articles in Energy Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2023-04-25
Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:115:y:2022:i:c:s0140988322004881