NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Energy Efficiency Standards Are More Regressive Than Energy Taxes: Theory and Evidence

Arik Levinson

NBER Working Paper No. 22956
Issued in December 2016
NBER Program(s):Environment and Energy Economics, Public Economics

Economists promote energy taxes as cost-effective. But policymakers raise concerns about their regressivity, or disproportional burden on poorer families, preferring to set energy efficiency standards instead. I first show that in theory, regulations targeting energy efficiency are more regressive than energy taxes, not less. I then provide an example in the context of automotive fuel consumption in the United States: taxing gas would be less regressive than regulating the fuel economy of cars if the two policies are compared on a revenue-equivalent basis.

download in pdf format
   (1061 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22956

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Pinkovskiy and Sala-i-Martin w22216 Newer Need Not be Better: Evaluating the Penn World Tables and the World Development Indicators Using Nighttime Lights
Garcia-Macia, Hsieh, and Klenow w22953 How Destructive is Innovation?
Finan and Mazzocco w21859 Electoral Incentives and the Allocation of Public Funds
Piketty, Saez, and Zucman w22945 Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States
Morten and Oliveira w22158 Paving the Way to Development: Costly Migration and Labor Market Integration
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us