The Unequal Economic Consequences of Carbon Pricing

Känzig, D R (2021) The Unequal Economic Consequences of Carbon Pricing. Working Paper. Social Sciences Research Network.


This paper studies how carbon pricing affects emissions, economic aggregates and inequality. Exploiting institutional features of the European carbon market and high-frequency data, I identify a carbon policy shock. I find that a tighter carbon pricing regime leads to a significant increase in energy prices, a persistent fall in emissions and an uptick in green innovation. This comes at the cost of a temporary fall in economic activity, which is not borne equally across society: poorer households lower their consumption significantly while richer households are less affected. Not only are the poor more exposed because of their higher energy share, they also experience a larger fall in their income. These indirect effects account for over 80 percent of the aggregate effect on consumption. A climate-economy model with heterogeneity in households' energy shares, income incidence and marginal propensities to consume is able to account for these facts.

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Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Subject Areas: Economics
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Wheeler Institute for Business and Development

Winner of the European Central Bank 2021 young economists’ competition. Shortlisted for the best student paper award at the IAEE and the young economist prize at the QCGBF (King’s College).

Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2021 19:05
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2023 11:06

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