Taxing a Commodity with and without Revenue Neutrality: A Calibrated Theoretical Consumer Equilibrium Model Article uri icon

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abstract

  • It has long been recognized that taxing a commodity that generates negative externalities can be used to reduce the consumption of that commodity. A variant involves the imposition of revenue neutrality but that may alter the tax rate required to meet a consumption reduction target. We explore the relationships among the commodity tax rate, the demand and supply elasticities, and the revenue offsets by calibrating a theoretical consumer equilibrium model and then recalibrating it with alternative parameter configurations. For each configuration we simulate equilibrium for three policy scenarios: no neutrality, neutrality achieved by subsidizing other commodities, and neutrality achieved by income transfer.

publication date

  • September 2011