Induced Technical Change and the Cost of Climate Policy
by Sue Wing, I. (September 2003)
Joint Program Report Series, 45 pages, 2003
This paper investigates the potential for a carbon tax to induce R&D, and for the consequent induced technical change (ITC) to lower the macroeconomic cost of abating carbon emissions. ITC is modelled within a general equilibrium simulation of the U.S. economy by the effects of emissions restrictions on the level and composition of aggregate R&D, the accumulation of the stock of knowledge, and the industry-level reallocation and substitution of intangible services derived therefrom. Contrary to other authors, I find that ITC's impact is large, positive and dominated by the latter "substitution effect," which mitigates most of the deadweight loss of the tax.
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