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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.



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.





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