An assessment of the social costs and benefits of vehicle tax reform in Ireland

Authors: Lisa Ryani, Ivan Petrovi, Andrew Kellyii, Yulu Guoi and Sarah La Monaca

This paper presents the results of an ex post evaluation of the impacts of a vehicle tax reform in Ireland, by carrying out a full social cost benefit analysis of a vehicle tax reform that began in Ireland in 2008 and shows that whilst successful in improving the fuel economy of new passenger cars, it may also have caused unintended effects, such as an increased proliferation of diesel vehicles in the passenger car fleet. These outcomes have mitigated the overall benefits. In addition to quantifying the scale of the various effects and outcomes, this paper clearly demonstrates the importance of broad scope policy design.

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Carbon pricing and competitiveness: Are they at odds?

Authors: Jane Ellisi, Daniel Nachtigalli and Frank Venmans

This paper reviews ex-post empirical assessments on the impact of carbon pricing on competitiveness in OECD and G20 countries in the electricity and industrial sectors. Most of these assessments find no statistically significant effects of carbon pricing or energy prices on different dimensions of competitiveness, including net imports, foreign direct investments, turnover, value added, employment, profits, productivity, and innovation. When statistically significant results have been found, the magnitude of such effects tends to be small – either positive or negative. Thus, concerns about negative short-term effects of carbon pricing on firms’ or sectors’ international competitiveness have not come to pass, at least to date. These findings are in part because carbon price levels have been low and because of exemptions to carbon taxes for industry, or generous levels of free allowances to firms covered by emissions trading schemes.

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