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Julius Andersson

PhD candidate in Environmental Economics

London School of Economics

I am a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics, conducting research in environmental and public economics using empirical methods. I study the effects of climate change mitigation policies in practice. My PhD thesis explores the environmental and distributional effects of the Swedish carbon tax, and provides some of the first empirical evidence of the effects of carbon pricing. My work contributes to different strands of academic literature: environmental economics, public economics, and political economy, and has implications for our understanding of the effects of environmental taxation in general.

Interests

  • Environmental Economics
  • Public Economics
  • Political Economy

Education

  • PhD Environmental Economics, 2019

    London School of Economics

  • MSc Economics, 2014

    University College London

  • MSc Environmental Economics and Climate Change, 2013

    London School of Economics

  • BSc Economics, 2012

    Lund University

Publications

Andersson, Julius. J. 2019. Carbon Taxes and CO2 Emissions: Sweden as a Case Study. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 11(4): 1-30. (link)

The article was featured in AEA’s Research Highlight series on November 15, 2019: “An efficient way to reduce emissions”. (link)

Click for Abstract
This quasi-experimental study is the first to find a significant causal effect of carbon taxes on emissions, empirically analyzing the implementation of a carbon tax and a value-added tax on transport fuel in Sweden. After implementation, carbon dioxide emissions from transport declined almost 11 percent, with the largest share due to the carbon tax alone, relative to a synthetic control unit constructed from a comparable group of OECD countries. Furthermore, the carbon tax elasticity of demand for gasoline is three times larger than the price elasticity. Policy evaluations of carbon taxes, using price elasticities to simulate emission reductions, may thus significantly underestimate their true effect.

Working Papers

Andersson, Julius J. The Distributional Effects of a Carbon Tax: The Role of Income Inequality

Click for Abstract
This empirical study analyses the determinants of the distributional effects of an environmental tax. The results show that the Swedish carbon tax on transport fuel is regressive between 1999-2012 when measured against annual income, but progressive when using lifetime income. The trend over time, however, is toward an increase in regressivity, which is highly correlated with an increase in income inequality. Analysis of the determinants of distributional effects lends support to our hypothesis that for necessities -- goods with an income elasticity below one -- rising income inequality increases the regressivity of a consumption tax. To mitigate climate change, a carbon tax should be applied to goods that typically are necessities: transport fuel, food, heating, and electricity. Carbon taxation will thus likely be regressive in high-income countries, the more so the more unequal the distribution of income.

Andersson, Julius J. The "Meatigation" of Climate Change: Environmental and Distributional Effects of a Greenhouse Gas Tax on Animal Food Products

Click for Abstract
Livestock products are responsible for just under 15 percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and are thereby a major contributor to climate change. Furthermore, estimated emission reductions from improved productivity and livestock management will be cancelled out by growth in livestock numbers since global demand for animal food products is estimated to almost double by 2050. Consequently, a more efficient mitigation approach is to reduce emissions through efforts to lower consumption. This study analyses the climate change mitigation potential, welfare, and distributional effects of a greenhouse gas consumption tax on animal food products in Sweden. The results show that a tax set at the level of 1180 SEK ($130) per ton of carbon dioxide equivalents will reduce annual emissions from food consumption by 6-10 percent depending on the number of animal food products that are taxed. Additionally, the distributional effect will be proportional when measured against lifetime income but regressive when measured against annual income, and with diverse impacts on changes in diets dependent on disposable income. These findings indicate that the tax will be environmentally efficient but how it is implemented is crucial for its acceptance among the general public.

Teaching

London School of Economics, 2015-2017

  • GY121 Sustainable Development

Awards: LSE Class Teacher Award, 2016