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Taxing Bads by Taxing Goods: Pollution Control With by Gunnar S. Eskeland

By Gunnar S. Eskeland

E-book via Eskeland, Gunnar S., Devarajan, Shantayanan

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Additional resources for Taxing Bads by Taxing Goods: Pollution Control With Presumptive Charges (Directions in Development (World Bank))

Sample text

Polluters, if they expect a negative or undifferentiated response, will not have an additional incentive to become cleaner than the average. The latter risk is higher if the taxes are perceived as ordinary indirect taxes, rather than as a specific charge that polluters are invited to avoid through specific avenues. It should be remembered, however, that presumptive charges serve a purpose in pollution control even if they remain blunt instruments, as long as they do not block development of the more refined incentive schemes.

Since each liter of gasoline consumed produces a certain amount of pollution, the gasoline demand curve shows the price at which consumers can reduce pollution by reducing their gasoline consumption. When consumer surplus is used as a measure of the welfare costs of reducing consumption, the part of the demand curve that is above the gasoline supply curve (marginal production costs) shows the welfare costs of pollution reductions provided through demand reductions. Formally, if welfare depends on gasoline consumption and other consumption, and emissions depend on gasoline consumption, the marginal welfare costs of adjusting the gasoline tax rate, per unit of associated emission reduction, is:2 where w is welfare (which, for simplicity, does not depend on emissions), t is the gasoline tax rate, e is emissions, and ex is the marginal emission coefficient for gasoline.

4 Gasoline Consumption under Mexico City's "Day without a Car" Program Page 27 example, it allows households to purchase "implicit driving permits" by buying cars, thus tying up the nation's capital unproductively. In addition, the limits involved relate to certain trips, rather than to a household's total driving, thereby introducing more limitations than necessary, even for within-household reallocations. 8 If pollution (or congestion) problems show sharp variations spatially or by time of day, demand management instruments such as provision and subsidization of mass transport, parking policies, and so on may be used to complement the effects of gasoline prices.

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