Green tax reform in Australia in the presence of improved environment-induced productivity gain: Does it offer sustainable recovery from a Post-COVID-19 recession?

Maruf Rahman Maxim, Kerstin K. Zander

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Abstract

Disasters and pandemics such as COVID-19 will change the world in many ways and the road to redemption from the ongoing economic distress may require a novel approach. This paper proposes a path towards economic recovery that keeps sustainability at the forefront. A computable general equilibrium model is used to simulate different green tax reform (GTR) policies for triple dividend (TD), consisting of lower emissions, higher GDP and higher employment. The GTR design consists of an energy tax coupled with one of three tax revenue recycle methods: (i) reduction of payroll tax, (ii) reduction of goods and services tax (GST) and (iii) a mixed-recycling approach. The paper also presents the impact of higher productivity on the tax reform simulations, which is a possible positive externality of lower emissions. The study is based on the Australian economy and the salient findings are twofold: (i) productivity gain in the GTR context improves the GDP and employment outcomes in all three different simulation scenarios and (ii) GST reduction has the highest TD potential, followed by reduction of payroll tax.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6514
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

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