Prof. Matschke publishes in JEEM

Prof. Matschke recently got a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management (JEEM), the leading field journal in environmental economics. The paper, titled “Environmental Policy in Majoritarian Systems” (UConn Economics Working Paper 2008-01), is the outcome of an ongoing research project with Per Fredriksson (University of Louisville) and Jenny Minier (University of Kentucky) on the influence of majoritarian systems on economic policy.

This paper sheds new light on the determination of environmental tax policies in majoritarian federal electoral systems such as the U.S., and derives implications for the environmental federalism debate on whether the national or local government should have authority over environmental taxes. In the absence of majority bias, the socially preferred policy would be federal district-level taxation which accounts both for cross-boundary pollution and differences in industry concentration across districts. If majority representatives use environmental tax policy to maximize the welfare of only their own districts rather than social welfare, federal district-level pollution taxes are typically suboptimal, and decentralized or federal uniform taxation may be the preferred solution.