Reform of the Coal Sector in an Open Economy: The Case of China

Reform of the Coal Sector in an Open Economy: The Case of China / Shengbao Ji, Yin-Fang Zhang and Tooraj Jamasb. Energy Policy Research Group, 2014, 31 p. (EPRG working paper 1419)

Authors’s abstract :

Cheap, abundant and easy to transport and store, coal has been produced and consumed to meet people’s energy needs. The last decade’s growth in global coal use has been driven mainly by  developing economies like China, whose phenomenal economic growth has been powered by coal-fired
electricity and promoted by the export of manufactured goods. A recent reform focus in China’s coal  sector is on coal taxation. The paper develops a game- theoretic model tailored to the context of  China where coal taxation reform takes place against the background of privatisation of coal firms
and an open economy. It finds that the adoption of special coal taxes is optimal for social welfare  under most circumstances, but may induce coal firms to commit opportunistic behaviour in the  process of privatisation. The paper also cautions about potential resistance to the reform from  consumers, coal firms and government officials.

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