Warwick J. McKibbin is a professor of international economics and head of the Economics Division at the Australian National University's Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies. He also is a nonresident senior fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution and a member of the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia. Peter J. Wilcoxen is an associate professor in the department of economics at the University of Texas, Austin, and a nonresident senior fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution.
The authors simulate the impact of environmental taxes on the U.S. economy using their Intertemporal General Equilibrium Model (IGEM). This highly innovative model incorporates expectations about future prices and policies. The model is estimated econometrically from an extensive 50-year dataset to incorporate the heterogeneity of producers and consumers. This approach generates confidence intervals for the outcomes of changes in economic policies, a new feature for models used in analyzing energy and environmental policies. These outcomes include the welfare impacts on individual households, distinguished by demographic characteristics, and for society as a whole, decomposed between efficiency and equity.