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Dirty little secrets: inferring fossil-fuel subsidies from patterns in emission intensities

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

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Abstract

I develop a unique database of international fossil-fuel subsidies by examining country specific patterns in carbon emission-to-GDP ratios, known as emission-intensities. For most - but not all - countries, intensities tend to be hump-shaped with income. I construct a model of structural-transformation that generates this hump-shaped intensity and then show that deviations from this pattern must be driven by distortions to sectoral-productivity and/or fossil-fuel prices. Finally, I use the calibrated-model to measure these distortions for 170 countries for 1980-2010. This methodology reveals that fossil-fuel price-distortions are large, increasing and often hidden. Furthermore, they are major contributors to higher carbon-emissions and lower GDP.
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Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSt Andrews
PublisherUniversity of St Andrews
Number of pages95
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2017

Publication series

NameSchool of Economics and Finance Discussion Paper
PublisherUniversity of St Andrews
No.1705
ISSN (Print)0962-4031
ISSN (Electronic)2055-303X

    Research areas

  • Carbon subsidies, Subsidies, Fossil fuels , Pollution, Energy, Energy intensity, Industrialization, Structural transformation, Climate change, Global warming, Emissions

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ID: 249318262