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Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Boeters S.,CPB
Energy Economics | Year: 2014

Economic thought on climate policy as an instance of environmental regulation is strongly influenced by the principle of a uniform carbon price. Economists acknowledge that this principle breaks down in a "second-best" world with other distortions, such as taxes and market power in domestic and international markets. However, systematic analysis of this point in the economic climate policy literature is scarce. In the present paper, a computable general equilibrium (CGE) set-up is chosen in order to examine what pattern of differentiated carbon prices emerges as optimal in a second-best world.The CGE model WorldScan, which is considered to be representative of the class of models routinely used for numerical climate policy analysis, produces three main results: First, the optimal pattern of carbon prices is highly differentiated, ranging from almost prohibitive taxes to high subsidies (with a range of more than 1700 euros per ton of CO2). Second, the welfare gain from switching from a uniform price to optimally differentiated prices is enormous, equivalent to a 27% emission reduction for free. Third, the most important drivers of carbon price differentiation are market power in export markets as well as taxes on consumption, intermediate inputs and domestic output. This shows that carbon price differentiation cannot be dismissed as a policy option lightly. However, before translating these findings into concrete policy advice, the relevant features of modelling pre-existing distortions in CGE models need close revision. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Walsh M.,CPB
Interactions | Year: 2013

The article discusses how to harness the power of positive tension. The more friends one had, the cooler and more popular one were. The cultural force of keeping score made it a given that one would always want more friends, and it affected people's perceptions and behaviors. Tension does not just have to lead to destroyed homes and bruised egos. It can also be a force for incredible good. When used effectively, tension and those energy releases can lead to laughter, new or better friendships, and new perspectives on life and the world around oneself. It can lead to creative ideas and experiences that break through the clutter and create meaningful value at a personal and cultural level. Everyone carries preconceived notions and expectations into every experience one has. Some of the best tensions come when one forces those expectations to coexist with the unexpected. Source

Douven R.C.H.M.,CPB | Schut F.T.,Erasmus University Rotterdam
Journal of Health Economics | Year: 2011

In this paper we examine the pricing behaviour of nonprofit health insurers in the Dutch social health insurance market. Since for-profit insurers were not allowed in this market, potential spillover effects from the presence of for-profit insurers on the behaviour of nonprofit insurers were absent. Using a panel data set for all health insurers operating in the Dutch social health insurance market over the period 1996-2004, we estimate a premium model to determine which factors explain the price setting behaviour of nonprofit health insurers. We find that financial stability rather than profit maximisation offers the best explanation for health plan pricing behaviour. In the presence of weak price competition, health insurers did not set premiums to maximize profits. Nevertheless, our findings suggest that regulations on financial reserves are needed to restrict premiums. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Boeters S.,CPB | Boeters S.,Center for European Economic Research
Computational Economics | Year: 2013

Changing the income tax progressivity in labour markets with collective wage bargaining generates a trade-off. On the one hand, higher progressivity distorts individual labour supply decisions at the hours-of-work margin, on the other hand, it reduces unemployment by exerting downward pressure on wages. This trade-off is quantitatively assessed using a numerical model for Germany. The model combines a microsimulation module, which captures the labour-supply decisions of approximately 4,600 individual households, and a macro (computable general equilibrium) module, which features collective wage bargaining and involuntary unemployment. In the simulations carried out using this model, the optimal degree of tax progressivity turns out to be higher than the one in the actual German tax schedule. The optimum is located at marginal tax rates that are 6 percentage points higher than the actual rates (combined with a transfer that balances the public budget). The welfare gain from such a reform is modest, however. It amounts to no more than two euros per person per month. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Bollen J.,National Institute of Public Health and the Environment | Manders T.,CPB | Timmer H.,CPB
Environmental Economics and Policy Studies | Year: 2014

This paper analyzes the economic impact of mitigation policies that lead to stabilization of CO2 concentrations at levels of 550 and 450ppmv, respectively. We succes-sively use each of the four new IPCC scenarios as a baseline. We analyze the impact of two different mitigation paths to the same long-term stable concentrations, which we call early action versus delayed response. The two issues that determine the advantages and disadvantages of early action are the timing of the entrance of new regions into an agreement and the development of the emission price, once all countries participate. The mitigation path is intertemporally efficient if most of the mitigation takes place after all countries have entered an agreement and if the real emission price increases over time with a growth rate equal to the real interest rate. The impact on global utility depends on the dynamics of the emission price. The emission price, for its part, depends on (1) which of the IPCC scenarios is chosen, (2) on the ultimate concentration rate, and (3) on the timing of the scenarios. The distribution of the income effects over regions depends mainly on the regional assigned amounts agreed upon in the agreement. © 2000, Springer Japan. Source

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