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Calculating the environmental impacts of public action -- Nils Axel Braathen, OECD

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This presentation was made by Nils Axel Braathen, OECD, at the Introductory Workshop on Green Budgeting Tools held at the OECD, Paris, on 29 April 2019

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Calculating the environmental impacts of public action -- Nils Axel Braathen, OECD

  1. 1. Ex-post cost-benefit analysis of environmentally related tax policies Paris Collaborative on Green Budgeting 2nd Green Budgeting Experts Meeting 29 April 2019, OECD Conference Centre, Paris Jonas Teusch, OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration Environment Directorate
  2. 2. 1. Several studies identify causal effects of environmentally related tax policies on health and environmental outcomes (e.g. CO2 emissions). However: quantified effects are typically a small subset of total impacts. 2. Regulatory impact assessments do not always simultaneously quantify costs and benefits Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) can provide decision makers with more complete assessments, including side effects (e.g. local pollution), which may lead to: – Improvements to evaluated policy; – Better complementary policies (e.g. congestion charging). 2 Motivation
  3. 3. Long-term objective: How can more environmentally related tax policies undergo ex-post CBA? Immediate objective: How can ex-post CBA effectively build on existing evidence of the effects environmentally related tax policies? Audience: – policy analysts – academic researchers 3 Objectives
  4. 4. «Inductive» method: Guidance developed by reference to French feebate programme for motor vehicles introduced in 2008 (analysis for first year only – no general assessment of French feebate policy). Starting point: Short-run (quarterly) effects of French bonus/malus on CO2 emissions in 2008 (D'Haultfœuille, Givord and Boutin, 2014). Taking a CBA perspective: What’s missing in original analysis? – Lifetime vehicle usage; – Non-climate externalities such as congestion and local air pollution; – Indirect fiscal impacts (excise and VAT); – Implications for consumers and producers. 4 Approach
  5. 5. 5 1. Climate impacts of 2008 feebate -1 200 -1 000 - 800 - 600 - 400 - 200 0 200 400 -12 -10 -8 -6 -4 -2 0 2 4 Fleet composition Rebound Fleet size Manufacturing EUR milliont CO2 million Thousands Climate effect (left axis) Climate cost (right axis)
  6. 6. Even ex-post CBA involves forward-looking assumptions about future impacts of the changes triggered by the policy beyond the programme evaluation period. The consideration of benefits that accrue after the end of the programme evaluation period can fundamentally alter results. Ex-post appraisals that are building on programme evaluation studies should discuss the magnitude and reason for these differences. 6 Recommendations (I)
  7. 7. 7 2. Non-climate externalities of 2008 feebate 0 500 1 000 1 500 2 000 2 500 Air pollution Congestion Accidents Noise Wear & tear EUR million Petrol Diesel
  8. 8. CBA should not be limited to considering climate externalities, but should include all relevant externalities. If the social costs and benefits of quantified effects are uncertain, it can be prudent to apply a reasonable range 8 Recommendations (II)
  9. 9. 9 3. Fiscal impacts and their social cost -2 500 -2 000 -1 500 -1 000 - 500 0 500 Feebate Excise tax VAT Fiscal impact Social impact
  10. 10. Fiscal effects going beyond the analysed environmentally related tax policy should be considered as well. The application of a tax provision that reduces net public revenues causes a social cost per unit of revenue foregone that is equal to the marginal cost of public funds of the instrument used to raise the necessary additional revenue. Fiscal costs should be corrected accordingly. 10 Recommendations (III)
  11. 11. 11 4. Surplus impacts of first year of feebate 0 200 400 600 800 1 000 1 200 1 400 Consumer surplus Domestic producer surplus Foreign producer surplus EUR million Surplus impact
  12. 12. Do not solely assess externalities and fiscal effects, but consider changes in consumer and producer surplus as well. As the distribution of costs and benefits can be of great interest – for the people involved and from a political perspective – case studies should at least qualitatively discuss distributional impacts. 12 Recommendations (IV)
  13. 13. 13 Comparison of social costs and benefits -7 000 -6 000 -5 000 -4 000 -3 000 -2 000 -1 000 0 1 000 2 000 Climate Non-climate Fiscal Consumers Producers Net benefit EUR million Social impact
  14. 14. Programme evaluation studies provide valuable information on the intended effects of a policy. However, comprehensive ex-post appraisal requires consideration of unintended effects as well. CBA is a powerful framework to complement programme evaluation studies accordingly. Interesting insights from existing evidence. Notes of caution: Unquantified / unquantifiable impacts can equally affect results (development of cleaner cars) 14 Conclusions
  15. 15. Ex-post cost-benefit analysis of environmentally related tax policies Jonas Teusch, jonas.teusch@oecd.org