NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Daniel H. Karney

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Working Papers

March 2013Leakage, Welfare, and Cost-Effectiveness of Carbon Policy
with Kathy Baylis, Don Fullerton: w18898
We extend the model of Fullerton, Karney, and Baylis (2012 working paper) to explore cost-effectiveness of unilateral climate policy in the presence of leakage. We ignore the welfare gain from reducing greenhouse gas emissions and focus on the welfare cost of the emissions tax or permit scheme. Whereas that prior paper solves for changes in emissions quantities and finds that leakage may be negative, we show here that all cases with negative leakage in that model are cases where a unilateral carbon tax results in a welfare loss. With positive leakage, however, a unilateral policy can improve welfare.
April 2011Negative Leakage
with Don Fullerton, Kathy Baylis: w17001
We build a simple analytical general equilibrium model and linearize it, to find a closed-from expression for the effect of a small change in carbon tax on leakage – the increase in emissions elsewhere. The model has two goods produced in two sectors or regions. Many identical consumers buy both goods using income from a fixed stock of capital that is mobile between sectors. An increase in one sector’s carbon tax raises the price of its output, so consumption shifts to the other good, causing positive carbon leakage. However, the taxed sector substitutes away from carbon into capital. It thus absorbs capital, which shrinks the other sector, causing negative leakage. This latter effect could swamp the former, reducing carbon emissions in both sectors.

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