The purpose of this research program is to develop new evaluation tools and techniques, and to conduct studies helping to clarify debates and facilitate decision making about tax reform.
The reform of tax and benefit systems is called for to meet various long term challenges : the mitigation of climate change, the funding of social protection, the limitation of rising inequalities. In a context of globalisation and demographic transition, those challenges will not be met unless the public deficits are controlled, the production and employment preserved.
This complexity makes the cooperation awkward : in an uncertain world, it is hard to disentangle those competing objectives and to reach a political consensus about a compromise solution, that is both effective and acceptable.
After its contribution to the evaluation of a carbon tax in France (Commission Rocard), the CIRED continued working on ecological tax reforms with a special focus being placed on their social impacts over the short and long run. As those impacts depend greatly on the use made off the tax proceeds, this project aims at framing up the debates by comparing several disposals on a same extensive set of criteria (growth, employment, CO2 emissions, poverty and inequalities, etc.). It also study their synergy-antinomy with other instruments and the design of optimal policy packages (e.g. infrastructure policies, white certificates, urban and land use policies).
Different compensatory mechanisms able to correct the negative short term effects are considered. The objective is therefore to study what kind of trade-offs the collective action is facing when defining a fair transition towards a low-carbon economy, and if there is room for compromises. The objective is also to identify whether or not the opposite conceptions that proved to be decisive obstacles in reaching a political consensus are determinant for decision-making (e.g. on technical potentials, labour market functioning or market imperfections).
Finally, the prospective outcomes of such ecological reforms are also compared to the ones of their alternatives : business-as-usual or "conventional" structural reforms. In this respect, climate change is linked to other important future challenges : public deficits, pensions and ageing, growing tensions on energy security, rise of inequalities, globalisation, etc.
Ghersi Frederic (research fellow) : firstname.lastname@example.org
Hourcade Jean Charles (supervisor) : email@example.com
Combet Emmanuel (former research fellow at CIRED) : firstname.lastname@example.org