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Energy Efficiency Standards Are More Regressive Than Energy Taxes : Theory and Evidence

Author: Arik Levinson; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. National Bureau of Economic Research 2016.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. w22956.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Economists promote energy taxes as cost-effective. But policymakers raise concerns about their regressivity, or disproportional burden on poorer families, preferring to set energy efficiency standards instead. I first show that in theory, regulations targeting energy efficiency are more regressive than energy taxes, not less. I then provide an example in the context of automotive fuel consumption in the United  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Arik Levinson; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 1008875784
Notes: December 2016.
Description: 1 online resource
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. w22956.
Responsibility: Arik Levinson.

Abstract:

Economists promote energy taxes as cost-effective. But policymakers raise concerns about their regressivity, or disproportional burden on poorer families, preferring to set energy efficiency standards instead. I first show that in theory, regulations targeting energy efficiency are more regressive than energy taxes, not less. I then provide an example in the context of automotive fuel consumption in the United States: taxing gas would be less regressive than regulating the fuel economy of cars if the two policies are compared on a revenue-equivalent basis.

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