Who Pays the Price of Carbon?

Charles Kolstad

Article Says Climate-Change Legislation Fairly Addresses Fairness Concerns

With climate-change legislation moving its way through Congress, Bren professor of environnmental economics Charles Kolstad and economics PhD candidate Corbett Grainger take a look at the debate over who will pay for carbon regulation, in an article published August 29 on VOX, a website featuring research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists. In "Who Pays a Price on Carbon?" the authors assert that the main concerns presented by opponents of climate-change legislation are either unfounded or have been addressed fairly by the legislation. These include concerns about competitiveness of American industry, regressiveness of a purposed price on carbon, and the disproportionate burden that would be born by coal-producing states. After examining the evidence, they conclude that the strongest opposition to the proposed law "will probably be based more on ideological grounds than on distributional concerns."

Read the article on VOX.

The article is based on research Kolstad and Grainger conducted for the National Bureau of Economic Research, where Kolstad is a research associate. Sharing a title with their opinion piece, the paper examines the differences in what people of different incomes would end up paying if the carbon cap-and-trade program passed by the House of Representatives were to become law.

Corbett Grainger