Seminario CEDE - Elisa Belfiori
Is there an optimal alternative to a global carbon tax? We study this question in a standard neoclassical growth model with a carbon emissions externality using both the Pigouvian and Ramsey motives for taxation. We show that the social optimum is implementable with taxes widely used in countries worldwide – such as consumption, energy, income taxes – and no carbon taxation. We theoretically characterize and quantitatively estimate the optimal tax rates, and we find that they are well within existing tax rates. We argue that traditional taxes can play a central role in tackling the climate problem as policymakers seem reluctant to introduce a carbon tax and are often keener on changing existing tax rates.