Böhringer, Christoph Rivers, Nicholas Yonezawa, Hidemichi
Year of Publication:
Economics Working Paper Series 16/234
We show that imposition of a state-level environmental tax in a federation crowds out pre-existing federal taxes. We explain how this vertical fiscal externality can lead unilateral state-level environmental policy to generate a welfare gain in the implementing state, at the expense of other states, even absent any environmental benefits. Using a computable general equilibrium model of the Canadian federation, we show that vertical fiscal externalities can be the major determinant of the welfare change following environmental policy implementation by a state government. Our numerical simulations indicate that - as a consequence of vertical fiscal externalities - state governments can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 20 percent without any net cost to themselves.
fiscal externality climate policy federalism computable general equilibrium