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Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Developing Countries: Economic, Fiscal, and Environmental Impacts
RFF Academic Seminar

Presenter
Joseph Aldy, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Abstract
In 2008, fossil fuel subsidies in the developing world exceeded $500 billion. These subsidies distort the allocation of resources that results in excessive petroleum, gas, and coal consumption; weakens incentives for non-fossil technology innovation and deployment; increases conventional air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions; lowers economic output; imposes significant fiscal burdens; and contributes to the volatility of global energy markets. This paper uses petroleum product subsidy data to estimate price elasticities that in turn can be used to assess the impacts of subsidy elimination. In addition, I estimate the impacts of subsidy reform on sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide emissions, as well as the potential impact of kerosene price rationalization on charcoal and wood fuel consumption. Finally, this paper estimates a negative relationship between fossil fuel subsidy expenditures and government spending on health and education.

Date
Thursday, March 15, 2012
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Refreshments will be provided.

Location
7th Floor Conference Room
1616 P St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

All seminars will be in the 7th Floor Conference Room at RFF, 1616 P Street NW. Attendance is open, but involves pre-registration no later than two days prior to the event. For questions and to register to an event, please contact Khadija Hill at khill@rff.org (tel. 202-328-5174). Updates to our academic seminars schedule will be posted at www.rff.org/academicseminarseries.

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