Akio Yamazaki is an assistant professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. His work focuses on the evaluation of the effectiveness and economic impact of climate change policies. Specifically, his research analyzes how carbon taxes affect energy use, employment, and productivity. His purpose is to inform policymakers and the public about the economic benefits and costs of climate policies, thus aiding with the design and implementation of cost-effective and evidence-based policy.
Yamazaki is also an adjunct assistant professor in the department of economics at the University of Calgary. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Calgary, Master of Art in economics from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Davis. Prior to his completion of his PhD, he was pre-doctoral research fellow in the Smart Prosperity Institute at the University of Ottawa.
His recent research has been published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management and the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
PhD in Economics, 2019
University of Calgary (Supervisor -- Dr. M. Scott Taylor)
MA in Economics, 2012
University of Southern California
BA (Highest honor) in Economics, 2009
University of California, Davis
AA (Highest honor) in Transfer, 2007
City College of San Francisco
We compare the employment effect of the British Columbia carbon tax using two empirical methods, a reduced-form econometric model and counterfactual simulations conducted using an applied general equilibrium (CGE) model. The comparison allows us to test the theory-driven predictions of the CGE model. It also allows us to test the identification strategy of our econometric model. Ex-post, we find statistically and economically significant effects on sectoral employment levels from the carbon tax – with employment falling in the most carbon-intensive sectors and rising in the least carbon-intensive. The CGE model predicts employment responses of very similar sign and magnitude to our econometric estimates. We find no evidence to suggest that our econometric estimates are likely to be undermined by general equilibrium effects in this policy setting. Finally, we explore the use of the econometric estimates to deepen the empirical content of the CGE model.
This paper investigates how environmental taxes affect manufacturing productivity by examining British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon tax. I develop a new hypothesis, the “Productivity Dividend Hypothesis,” to show that environmental taxes can positively affect productivity by recycling tax revenues to reduce corporate income taxes. This revenue-recycling increases investment and could raise productivity more than environmental taxes lower productivity by diverting resources from production. I evaluate this hypothesis using detailed confidential plant-level data. I find that the carbon tax lowers productivity, although this is offset to some extent by the revenue-recycling. For some plants, the policy generates a net gain in productivity.