Green Tax Reform and Two-Component Unemployment: Double Dividend or Double Loss?

  • Albert M
  • Meckl J
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The double-dividend argument (as used in political debates) addresses worries that a green tax may lead to higher unemployment when wages are inflexible. As protection against this possibility, it is proposed to use the green-tax proceeds to reduce the total tax burden of labor. Ideally, this protects the environment and reduces unemployment (double dividend). However, even if the main cause of unemployment is a minimum wage, an additional efficiency-wage component (which explains certain stylized facts) can dominate employment effects. In the worst case, this leads to a "double loss," which is impossible under pure minimum-wage unemployment.

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  • Max Albert

  • Jürgen Meckl

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