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Who Pays Broad-Based Energy Taxes? Computing Lifetime and Regional Incidence

Nicholas Bull, Kevin A. Hassett, and Gilbert E. Metcalf

Year: 1994
Volume: Volume15
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol15-No3-8
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Abstract:
This paper measures the incidence of energy taxes using a lifetime framework to study both a Btu tax and a carbon tax. It takes into account two key facts. First, because energy taxes have different incidence effects across the life cycle, it is important to measure the burden of taxes in terms of lifetime incidence, not just their burden in a given year. To take account of lifetime incidence, we introduce an estimation methodology for lifetime-correction as well as showing current consumption measures. Second, energy taxes have a total effect that combines both direct and indirect effects: in addition to directly increasing the price of energy goods, energy taxes also indirectly increase the price of all other goods in proportion to the energy used to produce them. We provide incidence estimates by income group and by geographical region.



An Empirical Analysis of Energy Intensity and Its Determinants at the State Level

Gilbert E. Metcalf

Year: 2008
Volume: Volume 29
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-No3-1
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Abstract:
Aggregate energy intensity in the United States has been declining steadily since the mid-1970s and the first oil shock. Energy intensity can be reduced by improving efficiency in the use of energy or by moving away from energy-intensive activities. At the national level, I show that roughly three-quarters of the improvements in U.S. energy intensity since 1970 results from efficiency improvements. This should reduce concerns that the United States is off-shoring its carbon emissions. A state-level analysis shows that rising per capita income and higher energy prices have played an important part in lowering energy intensity. Price and income predominantly influence intensity through changes in energy efficiency rather than through changes in economic activity. In addition, the empirical analysis suggests that little policy intervention will be needed to achieve the Bush Administration goal of an 18 percent reduction in carbon intensity by the end of this decade.



The Incidence of a U.S. Carbon Tax: A Lifetime and Regional Analysis

Kevin A. Hassett, Aparna Mathur and Gilbert E. Metcalf

Year: 2009
Volume: Volume 30
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol30-No2-8
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Abstract:
This paper measures the direct and indirect incidence of a carbon tax using current income and two measures of lifetime income to rank households. Our results suggest that carbon taxes are more regressive when annual income is used as a measure of economic welfare than when lifetime income measures are used. Further, the direct component of the tax, in any given year, is significantly more regressive than the indirect component. We observe a modest shift over time with the direct component of carbon taxes becoming less regressive and the indirect component becoming more regressive. These effects mostly offset each other and the distribution of the total tax burden has not changed much over time. In addition we find that regional variation has fluctuated over the years of our analysis. By 2003 there is little systematic variation in carbon tax burdens across regions of the country.



Cursed Resources? Political Conditions and Oil Market Outcomes

Gilbert E. Metcalf and Catherine Wolfram

Year: 2015
Volume: Volume 36
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.36.3.gmet
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Abstract:
We analyze how a country's political institutions affect oil production within its borders. We find a pronounced negative relationship between political openness and volatility in oil production, with democratic regimes exhibiting less volatility than more autocratic regimes. This relationship holds across a number of robustness checks including using different measures of political conditions, instrumenting for political conditions and using several measures of production volatility. Political openness also affects other oil market outcomes, including total production as a share of reserves. Our findings have implications both for interpreting the role of institutions in explaining differences in macroeconomic development and for understanding world oil markets.



The CO2 Content of Consumption Across U.S. Regions: A Multi-Regional Input-Output (MRIO) Approach

Justin Caron, Gilbert E. Metcalf, and John Reilly

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.1.jcar
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Abstract:
Using a multi-regional input-output (MRIO) framework, we estimate the direct and indirect carbon dioxide (CO2) content of consumption across regions of the United States. We improve on existing estimates by accounting for emissions attributable to domestically and internationally imported goods using data describing bilateral trade between U.S. states and with international countries and regions. This paper presents two major findings. First, attributing emissions to states on a consumption basis leads to very different state-level emissions responsibilities than when attributed on a production basis; for example, California's emissions are over 25 percent higher. Second, heterogeneity of emissions across trading partners significantly affects the indirect emissions intensity of consumption (kg of carbon per $ of consumption), so regional differences in intensity across the U.S. go well beyond direct energy consumption. These findings have implications for evaluating the distributional impacts of national climate policies and for understanding differing incentives to implement state-level policies.





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