How effective are emission taxes in reducing air pollution?

52 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2023

See all articles by Thilo Erbertseder

Thilo Erbertseder

German Aerospace Center; German Aerospace Center - German Remote Sensing Data Center

Martin Jacob

University of Navarra, IESE Business School

Hannes Taubenböck

German Aerospace Center

Kira Zerwer

Otto Beisheim School of Management (WHU)

Date Written: February 9, 2023

Abstract

This paper examines the role of environmental taxes in reducing air pollution. Using unique satellite data to observe area-wide levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), we leverage an emission tax introduction in 2013 in the Comunidad Valenciana. We find that this environmental tax reduced NO2 levels only modestly by 1.2%. While the effect does not depend on prevalence of dirty versus clean firms in an area, we find that the NO2 burden decreased more substantially in areas with a higher density of firms and in areas with innovative and large firms. Overall, our results imply that emission taxes are not very effective in reducing air pollution.

Keywords: Environmental taxation, emissions, greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxide

JEL Classification: H22, H23, H32

Suggested Citation

Erbertseder, Thilo and Jacob, Martin and Taubenböck, Hannes and Zerwer, Kira, How effective are emission taxes in reducing air pollution? (February 9, 2023). TRR 266 Accounting for Transparency Working Paper Series No. 114, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4353315 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4353315

Thilo Erbertseder

German Aerospace Center

German Aerospace Center - German Remote Sensing Data Center

Martin Jacob (Contact Author)

University of Navarra, IESE Business School ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Hannes Taubenböck

German Aerospace Center ( email )

Kira Zerwer

Otto Beisheim School of Management (WHU) ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany

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