Friday, October 13, 2006

Join the Club

In reaction to this, I’m ready to join Greg Mankiw’s Pigou Club (people who support Pigovian taxes on carbon-based energy to deal with global warming – or other detrimental external effects of energy consumption – in an efficient way). There are a few reasons I might not be accepted, though:
  1. I’m not sure that anonymous bloggers are qualified for admission.

  2. I have to confess that my rationale is not 100% Pigovian. It seems clear to me that, even if Al Gore is only a little bit right about the causes and consequences of global warming, the optimal Pigovian tax is extremely high – much higher than what would be politically feasible (in the US) even in my wildest dreams. Energy demand is just not elastic enough, even in the long run, and the social costs of global warming are too high. So, for practical purposes, I see any increase in energy taxes more as a nondistortionary tax than as a Pigovian tax. There is a standard argument that taxes don’t do any harm if they don’t change behavior; in this case, changing behavior is gravy. (As for global warming, well, I’m just glad I’m going to die in another 40 years or so.)

  3. I’m not sure Greg Mankiw reads my blog regularly enough to catch this post.
The argument commonly advanced against Pigovian taxes is that we cannot measure the relevant quantities well enough to ascertain the optimal tax. For example, in the (Toronto) National Post article linked at the beginning of this post:
The problem with a Pigovian gasoline tax is that it means using the same tools that failed planners everywhere over the past century. None of this stuff is measurable. What is the planned reduction in gasoline consumption? And what's the price to be set at? How high will the tax have to go before it changes behaviour enough to reduce demand? Will the government just wing it and see what happens? Will the alternative behaviour be any better or create new externalities and unintended consequences? What does government do with the money collected -- except launch a program of subsidies and spending to run alternative economic initiatives?
Since I’m convinced that the optimal tax is much higher than what is politically feasible, the uncertainty about the exact number is not a problem for me: I just advocate the highest tax possible. More generally, though, one might always set some reasonable lower bound and argue that the tax should be at least that high. The Post’s argument, as I commented in Greg Mankiw’s blog post (linked at the top), is essentially saying that government is generally incompetent, so whenever there’s a problem that the private sector can’t fix, the only reasonable approach is to ignore the problem. And then I proceeded to apply the same logic elsewhere:
The problem with using government-supplied police officers to protect citizens from crime is that it means using the same tools that failed planners everywhere over the past century. None of this stuff is measurable. What is the planned reduction in crime? And what are the wages of police officers to be set at? How much of this so-called police protection will have to be supplied before crime is sufficiently reduced? Will the government just wing it and see what happens? Will the police forces be any better than criminals, or will they create new externalities and unintended consequences? Where will the government get the money to pay these police officers?
I realize that a few anarchists won’t regard this as a reductio ad absurdum, but I’m not an anarchist myself. The debate does continue, however, and you can read it in the subsequent comments to Greg Mankiw’s post.

Labels: , , , , , ,

18 Comments:

Blogger Gabriel Mihalache said...

If Al Gore is right... well, that's a big if.

Sometimes I joke that if the French continue on their socialist ways I'm willing to support them because I always wanted a Paris villa and in a few decades they will be very cheap ;-), if you know what I mean.

Unfortunately that's the kind of outcome "the highest tax possible" way of thinking fosters. So maybe I should save for a New York loft, as long as I'm willing to live in a New York in which everybody walks or rides horses.

The EU area grew differently, structurally, because of its gas taxes. So one of the reasons to worry would be the unavoidable transition to a different kind of economy.

P.S. I do think that there are political reasons for a shift in taxes, aways from some thing and towards things like gas, where the US looks like it's subsidising consumption. But then again I'm a methodological taliban, thus the fixating over names.

Fri Oct 13, 03:51:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Laurent GUERBY said...

What about the power of expectations?

That is, put a tax somewhat lower than what you think is appropriate. Then bump it up regularly (each year, each time the famous anonymous economist knzn publishes a post saying the tax is still too low, etc.. :), and appear to be tough on this.

Shareholders might pay attention as they are betting on future returns.

BTW, I read studies that said that only increase events in the tobacco tax in France led to less smokers, even high but constant didn't show much change.

Fri Oct 13, 04:38:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems clear to me that, even if Al Gore is only a little bit right about ... global warming, the optimal Pigovian tax is extremely high ... So, for practical purposes, I see any increase in energy taxes more as a nondistortionary tax

Wrong. The atmosphere is a common pool resource. Lowering CO2 emissions in the US will only help the environment if China and India also mitigate their own pollution.

Fri Oct 13, 05:52:00 PM EDT  
Blogger knzn said...

Lowering CO2 emissions in the US will only help the environment if China and India also mitigate their own pollution.

That statement is only be true if there are certain kinds of severe nonlinearities in the environment's response to CO2 emissions. Otherwise, if we take China and India's pollution as a given, it still helps for the US to reduce its own pollution.

But it occurs to me, a carbon tax should also include the indirect "carbon content" of imported goods. That might be a tough one in terms of international trade organizations, but if I were running things, I would threaten to leave the WTO over it.

Fri Oct 13, 06:26:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with "tak[ing] China and India's pollution as a given" is that it ignores crowding-out effects.

Fri Oct 13, 06:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Laurent GUERBY said...

knzn, evil protectionist!

Fri Oct 13, 07:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger happyjuggler0 said...

I think gasoline taxes in the US is a moot point. Last year after Hurricane Katrina the US Congress held hearings about why gas prices were so high. Congress professed to be outraged, and that they were flooded with angry calls/mail from constituents wondering why prices were so high and that the government "should do something" about it.

The American people may claim to want to do something about *rising* "greenhouse gases", but they also are adamantly against higher gasoline, natural gas (or oil) heating, and electricity costs. If a Clinton administration with Gore as VP didn't have the guts/conviction to submit Kyoto to the Senate (if only to embarass those who vote against it), then don't think anyone else in the political sphere will try to make energy more expensive.

And if they do try, they will likely go down in flames anyway.

Fri Oct 13, 10:47:00 PM EDT  
Blogger happyjuggler0 said...

I read studies that said that only increase events in the tobacco tax in France led to less smokers, even high but constant didn't show much change.

I find this fascinating. I've always thought about taxes in terms of trying to minimize their harm. I am surprised, although I ought not to be I suppose, that gradualism in tax increases on tobacco lead to a greater reduction in use. It makes for a great advertisement, a reminder that your habit is going to cost more and more and quitting might be a good idea.

When I lived in Massachusetts they decided to use higher water prices to fund fixing the sewage problem (for many decades sewage was pumped into Boston Harbor) that was made famous in 1988 when "the other" George Bush visited Boston Harbor, which was his opponent's (Governor Michael Dukakis) "back yard".

"They" chose to gradually increase water prices, and to do so quietly, although the initial choice to fix the problem was definitely covered in the media. I'm sure "they" thought (correctly in my opinion) that a gradual approach in water price hikes would be easier to accomplish politically than a huge one time hike. Again, doing it quietly no doubt helped.

Fri Oct 13, 11:00:00 PM EDT  
Blogger happyjuggler0 said...

By the way, along those lines, just a few days ago I was pondering how to raise gasoline prices in an effort to curb its use without harming the economy, assuming it was politically possible. Even offsetting the tax hike witha tax cut somewhere else would have shock-type consequences. Therefore....

Let's say it was decided to riase its price by $2.00 per gallon. I'd let everyone know it was going to go to $2.00 more than it is now, but that it would happen 5 cents per month, taking 40 months, or 3 years and 4 months. Everyone would have time to adjust, and lots of people would buy higher mpg cars, while the economy would not be hit with a sudden shock.

The trick though is to make sure people know the tax will go up month after month after month....

Fri Oct 13, 11:17:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Laurent GUERBY said...

happyjuggler0, in the case of the tobacco tax in France, increases are not that small and hidden (everyone talks about them, it's in july of selected years), but the effect on future expectation should be quite the same as small "hidden" increases.

I'm surprised to find no study from Pigou club members on the impact of expectations. The main problem with a Pigou tax is how to find its level, right now analysis seem to be of a static form (tax must be X% period) which seem kind of limited to me.

Feel free to post URLs here if you find something.

Sat Oct 14, 06:12:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Al Gore is right...

If pigs could fly but, then I repeat myself.

Sat Oct 14, 09:22:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Gabriel Mihalache said...

You might want to comment on the "1$" target proposed by your club-leader, prof. Mankiw. It's time to come out of hibernation ;-)

Fri Oct 20, 05:23:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

豆豆聊天室 aio交友愛情館 2008真情寫真 2009真情寫真 aa片免費看 捷克論壇 微風論壇 大眾論壇 plus論壇 080視訊聊天室 情色視訊交友90739 美女交友-成人聊天室 色情小說 做愛成人圖片區 豆豆色情聊天室 080豆豆聊天室 小辣妹影音交友網 台中情人聊天室 桃園星願聊天室 高雄網友聊天室 新中台灣聊天室 中部網友聊天室 嘉義之光聊天室 基隆海岸聊天室 中壢網友聊天室 南台灣聊天室 南部聊坊聊天室 台南不夜城聊天室 南部網友聊天室 屏東網友聊天室 台南網友聊天室 屏東聊坊聊天室 雲林網友聊天室 大學生BBS聊天室 網路學院聊天室 屏東夜語聊天室 孤男寡女聊天室 一網情深聊天室 心靈饗宴聊天室 流星花園聊天室 食色男女色情聊天室 真愛宣言交友聊天室 情人皇朝聊天室 上班族成人聊天室 上班族f1影音視訊聊天室 哈雷視訊聊天室 080影音視訊聊天室 38不夜城聊天室 援交聊天室080 080哈啦聊天室 台北已婚聊天室 已婚廣場聊天室 夢幻家族聊天室 摸摸扣扣同學會聊天室 520情色聊天室 QQ成人交友聊天室 免費視訊網愛聊天室 愛情公寓免費聊天室 拉子性愛聊天室 柔情網友聊天室 哈啦影音交友網 哈啦影音視訊聊天室 櫻井莉亞三點全露寫真集 123上班族聊天室 尋夢園上班族聊天室 成人聊天室上班族 080上班族聊天室 6k聊天室 粉紅豆豆聊天室 080豆豆聊天網 新豆豆聊天室 080聊天室 免費音樂試聽 流行音樂試聽 免費aa片試看A片 免費a長片線上看 色情貼影片 免費a長片 本土成人貼圖站 大台灣情色網 台灣男人幫論壇 A圖網 嘟嘟成人電影網 火辣春夢貼圖網 情色貼圖俱樂部 台灣成人電影 絲襪美腿樂園 18美女貼圖區 柔情聊天網 707網愛聊天室聯盟 台北69色情貼圖區 38女孩情色網 台灣映像館 波波成人情色網站 美女成人貼圖區 無碼貼圖力量 色妹妹性愛貼圖區 日本女優貼圖網 日本美少女貼圖區 亞洲風暴情色貼圖網 哈啦聊天室 美少女自拍貼圖 辣妹成人情色網 台北女孩情色網 辣手貼圖情色網 AV無碼女優影片 男女情色寫真貼圖 a片天使俱樂部 萍水相逢遊戲區 平水相逢遊戲區 免費視訊交友90739 免費視訊聊天 辣妹視訊 - 影音聊天網 080視訊聊天室 日本美女肛交 美女工廠貼圖區 百分百貼圖區 亞洲成人電影情色網 台灣本土自拍貼圖網 麻辣貼圖情色網 好色客成人圖片貼圖區 711成人AV貼圖區 台灣美女貼圖區 筱萱成人論壇 咪咪情色貼圖區 momokoko同學會視訊 kk272視訊 情色文學小站 成人情色貼圖區 嘟嘟成人網 嘟嘟情人色網 - 貼圖區 免費色情a片下載 台灣情色論壇 成人影片分享 免費視訊聊天區 微風 成人 論壇 kiss文學區 taiwankiss文學區

Wed Apr 01, 07:59:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

福~
「朵
語‧,最一件事,就。好,你西.............................................................................................................
..................

Wed Apr 01, 10:55:00 AM EDT  
Blogger . said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店領檯,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,酒店兼職,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,酒店兼職,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,暑假打工,酒店經紀,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒假打工,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,暑假打工,酒店小姐,酒店傳播,酒店經紀人,酒店,酒店,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,暑假打工,招待所,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒假打工,酒店上班,暑假打工,酒店公關,酒店兼職,禮服店 , 酒店小姐 ,酒店經紀 ,酒店兼差,暑假打工,酒店,酒店,酒店經紀,酒店領檯 ,禮服店 ,酒店小姐 ,酒店經紀 ,酒店兼差,暑假打工, 酒店上班,禮服店 ,酒店小姐 ,酒店經紀 ,酒店兼差,暑假打工, 酒店上班,禮服店 ,酒店小姐 ,酒店經紀 ,酒店兼差,暑假打工, 酒店上班,酒店經紀,酒店經紀,酒店經紀

Tue Apr 21, 06:59:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some new style Puma Speed is in fashion this year. chaussure puma is Puma Shoes in french. Many france like seach “chaussure sport” by the internet when they need buy the Puma shoes or buy the nike max shoes.The information age is really convenient. By the way ,the puma CAT is really good chaussures puma ,don’t forget buy the puma mens shoes and nike air max ltd by the internet when you need them . Do you know Nike Air Shoes is a best Air Shoes .

Spring is coming, and how to choose the polo shirts is the main concern of many people. ralph lauren polo shirts is a classic type and reliable. ed hardy clothing is more in line with the aesthetic ideas of young people, so many young people filled with a variety of ed hardy clothes in their wardrobes. New style ed hardy womens shirt match the new style ed hardy sunglasses , it is a good idea.
Do you think this season is not for ugg boots ? maybe yes .but this season is best time that can buy the cheap ugg boots. Many sellers are selling discounted. Do not miss . Please view my blog and fc2 blog .thank you .

Wed May 20, 03:14:00 AM EDT  
Blogger wow power leveling said...

Faint hint of the love of friendship

Faint hint of the love of friendship. There is a friend, I think that is a cheap wow gold kind of love and friendship between the feelings between, you will occasionally miss a time to silence him, reminds him, the warm heart, a beautiful, a moving. Sad and worried at the time, you will think of him, you hope that he can in your side, give you comfort and buy wow power leveling understanding to you, and you never talk to him, are you afraid of their own grief that would preclude him from peaceful life.

You will be a song, a color, think of him, think of my wow gold his sincerity, he reminds me of the dedication, his mind had gone through the ups and downs together. With such a friend, you will treasure their lives and love their own lives, because you know I hope you had a good, he would like you to take care of themselves properly, and then to meet, he cheapest wow power leveling would like you to tell him you very happy.

That the concept of secularism, in your mind, because his replica replica rolex presence has become pale and weak, you are only in the depths of the bottom of my heart for this man set up a small space, stick with that quietly happy memories, from the the very beginning you know that you will not have any love, it seems that talk about love on the desecration CHEAP wow power level of this emotion, this can only be a friendship. This is how in the end all about? You want to for many years, but no clue.

You seldom have contacts in this long life, you meet the door may be only a few of the ten thousandth time, but in each other's hearts retain a miss, one asked, even if he went to the ends of the earth, even after many, many years, even BUY power leveling when the meet again, has long been a non-object is not, you still remember back as a profound, and this has been sufficient.

Sometimes life will calm a dry, maybe you will fall into the dry I replica rolex replica did this, perhaps what you do not have love, perhaps early HUAFA, full sideburns pale, but with such a friend, in the your life will ripple slightly, a little color, do you think of him. He remembered the quiet, perhaps the Health and cheap lotro gold the WHO will not forget.

Am grateful for you in this world, there is such a person, he is replica rolex not around you, he did not do anything for you, but you hope that he would have been very good, long life, happiness well-being ... ...

Am glad you had a feeling like that, pure and long, in this complex CHEAPEST power leveling world, there are such a friend, it is worth to cheap rs gold lbless you to miss ... ...

Tue Jun 09, 11:30:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dont know if there suitalbe to write something good website i meet here, for i hope every body could have a good shopping experience online.

here i want to introduce this website, mainly selling nfl jerseys,
ghd, christian louboutin, and air max 95.

they offer 24 hours online service, and very very good customer service.
i buy the air max 90 shoes online on the website, nice design and good quality. that is why i strongly introduce you here.

it is not a advertisment, just share my shopping experience with everybody. hope you have a nice day, and could enjoy the good shopping.

Wed Aug 11, 04:29:00 AM EDT  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home