Economics at your fingertips  

The suboptimal nature of applying Pigouvian rates as border adjustments

Hidemichi Yonezawa, Edward Balistreri () and Daniel Kaffine

No 2012-02, Working Papers from Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business

Abstract: We consider a North-South trade model with cross-border environmental damage where the North imports the relatively dirty good. The North sets domestic production taxes according to each industry's contribution to environmental degradation (Pigouvian taxes), but this exacerbates cross-border damages. It is well understood that a large economy in this situation can use border taxes to mitigate the damage, but a large economy also has an incentive to use trade policy to extract rents (Markusen, 1975). We formulate a model that neutralizes the rent-seeking incentives, through an endogenous transfer, to focus only on environmental incentives. We find that setting the North's import tariff at the Pigouvian rate is above the optimal, because it indirectly reduces the North's exports, favoring consumption of the dirty good in the South. Even in the case of full border tax adjustment, where the import tariff is partially canceled out by an export subsidy set at the Pigouvian rate for the export industry, trade is taxed too much. Considering the inherent general equilibrium nature of trade policy, the North's optimal border adjustment to mitigate the cross-border damage is a net import tariff set below the Pigouvian rate.

Keywords: climate policy; border tax adjustments; carbon leakage; trade and carbon taxes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27 pages
Date: 2012-06
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) First version, 2012 (application/pdf)

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:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Jared Carbone ().

Page updated 2022-05-21
Handle: RePEc:mns:wpaper:wp201202