Why governments should tax animal production: a system approach to internalise the externalities of agriculture
by Stefan Mann
International Journal of Sustainable Economy (IJSE), Vol. 14, No. 3, 2022

Abstract: This theoretically motivated opinion paper starts by showing that reducing the production intensity of agriculture locally or nationally, while reducing the negative externalities in the region, may increase production intensities at other places, resulting in a zero-sum game. By collecting different literatures and linking them, I argue that the crucial variable for agricultural sustainability is the conversion efficiency between inputs and outputs and that by far the greatest lever to increase this efficiency is the reduction of animal production. As animal products are not only detrimental for the environment, but also demerit goods from health and moral perspectives, it is due time for governments to identify strategies to reduce animal density in agriculture globally.

Online publication date: Mon, 04-Jul-2022

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