Philip Daniel, Alan Krupnick, Ms. Thornton Matheson, Mr. Peter J. Mullins, Ian W.H. Parry, and Artur Swistak
This paper suggests that the environmental and commercial features of shale gas extraction do not warrant a significantly different fiscal regime than recommended for conventional gas. Fiscal policies may have a role in addressing some environmental risks (e.g., greenhouse gases, scarce water, local air pollution) though in some cases their net benefits may be modest. Simulation analyses suggest, moreover, that special fiscal regimes are generally less important than other factors in determining shale gas investments (hence there appears little need for them), yet they forego significant revenues.
This paper provides a conceptual overview of economists’ attempts to learn about the effects of taxes on extractive resources. The emphasis is on research methods and techniques, with no attempt to provide a comprehensive tabulation of previous empirical results or policy conclusions regarding preferred tax instruments or systems. We argue, in fact, that the nature of such conclusions largely depends on the researcher’s choice of modeling framework. Many alternative frameworks and approaches have been developed in the literature. Our goal is to describe the differences among them and to note their strengths and limitations.
We present a simple model of petroleum exploration and development that can be applied to study the performance of alternative tax systems and identify potential distortions. Although the model is a highly simplified, it incorporates many factors and some of the key tradeoffs that would influence an investor’s investment behavior. The model recognizes the role of enhanced oil recovery and treats the impact of taxation on exploration and development in an integrated manner consistent with an investor’s joint optimization of investments at both stages of the process. The model is simple and user-friendly, which facilitates application to a broad range of problems.
Gasoline and diesel fuel are heavily taxed in many developed and some emerging and developing countries. Outside of the United States and Europe, however, there has been little attempt to quantify the external costs of vehicle use, so policymakers lack guidance on whether prevailing tax rates are economically efficient. This paper develops a general approach for estimating motor vehicle externalities, and hence corrective taxes on gasoline and diesel, based on pooling local data with extrapolations from U.S.evidence. The analysis is illustrated for the case of Chile, though it could be applied to other countries.
Using the modern theory of public economics as the point of departure, this paper outlines a basic principle for setting taxes and/or prices of commodities based on two key criteria, efficiency and equity. The paper shows that for petroleum products, the basic principle needs modification in the presence of various externalities and market imperfections in a setting where the instruments to address the externalities and imperfections are limited. Drawing from theoretical and empirical literature, the paper provides an operational framework and then illustrates how, for a country like Nigeria, the relevant taxes/subsidies to correct the externalities and to address equity and revenue considerations can be measured with a view to setting prices of petroleum products. However, the paper refrains from making any specific suggestion for policy reform in Nigeria. The framework outlined in the paper can be applied to the analysis of petroleum product taxes and prices in other developing countries.
Under imperfect competition, Russia and Ukraine may choose to deviate from optimal tax considerations which suggest use of a destination-based VAT regime. Oil and gas trade is a major source of Russian tax revenue, which is collected partly through an origin-based VAT on intra-CIS energy trade. The paper shows that Ukraine may try to capture part of the tax revenue if it has monopsony power. It is far from clear whether Ukraine would succeed in shifting the rents through taxation, since this depends on the form of imperfect competition and the curvature of Ukraine's import demand function.
The domestic taxation of petroleum products is an important source of revenue in most countries. However, there is a wide variation of tax rates on petroleum products across countries, which cannot be explained by economic theory alone. This paper surveys different considerations advanced for taxing petroleum and presents petroleum tax rate data in 120 countries. It concludes that a significant reduction in the present extremely wide variation in petroleum prices and tax rates appears warranted.