This is interesting. One of the big dings on a carbon tax has been that it’s regressive — it will hurt the poor (who pay a higher percentage of their income for energy) more than the rich.

But according to a new study, it ain’t so:

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But the new study, based on data from Indonesia, shows that in terms of energy consumption, the impact on the rural poor would be much less than that on wealthy people in cities, as the poor use comparatively little energy.

The poor could actually benefit from a carbon tax. Rising energy prices mean that small scale farmers — who make up the majority of Indonesia’s poor and use little machinery — could compete better with large farms that rely on machinery with high energy consumptions.

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Of course, the study was focused on developing countries. I suspect the situation is different in the developed countries.