Research

Energy Institute at Haas

Research

EI @ Haas Working Paper WP-269R Abstract

Sharat Ganapati, Joseph S. Shapiro, and Reed Walker, "The Incidence of Carbon Taxes in U.S. Manufacturing: Lessons from Energy Cost Pass-Through" (Revised January 2017) Full Paper

Abstract:
This paper estimates how increases in production costs due to energy inputs affect consumer versus producer surplus (i.e., incidence). In doing so, we develop a general methodology to measure the incidence of changes in input costs that can account for three first-order issues: factor substitution amongst inputs used for production, incomplete pass-through of input costs, and industry competitiveness. We apply this methodology to a set of U.S. manufacturing industries for which we observe plant-level output prices and input costs. We find that about 70 percent of energy price-driven changes in input costs are passed through to consumers. This implies that the share of welfare cost borne by consumers is 25-75 percent smaller (and the share borne by producers is correspondingly larger) than most existing work assumes.