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Do Volatile Oil Prices and Consumer Adjustment Costs Justify An Additional Petroleum Tax?

A number of papers have considered different reasons for defending or refuting additional crude oil taxation directly or indirectly via an import duty. Hogan-Rahmani (1987) refer to "national security of supply" in advocating an oil import fee. This relates to another work of the authors (see Hogan-Rahmani-Jorgenson-Cooper (1988)), in which they state that energy demand (and in particular U.S. oil dependence) will dramatically rise due to prevailing low crude oil prices. An extensive discussion of this controversial issue has gone on in this journal, e.g., see Wright (1988), Singer (1988), Huntington (1988) reviewing the DOE report on Energy Security and the "American Debate" by Curlee, Tussing and Vactor (1988), Nesbitt and Choi (1988), and the defense of Broadman and Hogan (1988). Bizer and Stuart (1987) address a different aspect of an oil import fee, namely as an instrument of public finance. However, they dismiss import duties as an inefficient instrument for raising revenues.

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Energy Specializations: Petroleum – Markets and Prices for Crude Oil and Products

JEL Codes: H23: Taxation and Subsidies: Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies, Q41: Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices, Q31: Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation: Demand and Supply; Prices, D61: Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis, D62: Externalities, H54: National Government Expenditures and Related Policies: Infrastructures; Other Public Investment and Capital Stock, D12: Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

Keywords: Oil prices, Volatility, Oil tax, Economic efficiency

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol11-No1-12

Published in Volume 11, Number 1 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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