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Voting on the environment: Price or ideology? Evidence from Swiss referendums

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  • Bornstein, Nicholas
  • Lanz, Bruno

Abstract

Studies on preferences for environmental quality usually posit that price and income explain most of the observed choices. Incorporating recent advances in the economics of non-selfish behavior into the traditional public choice approach, we argue that the willingness to contribute to public goods as well as social norms need to be taken into account when analyzing environmental voting outcomes. We study aggregate results of three ballot proposals in Switzerland put to vote in the year 2000 which foresaw different tax schemes on fossil energy. Our main results show that the aggregate level choice pattern is to be explained by income as well as structural attributes that make costs and benefits of the projects vary. More importantly, our results underline the importance of including variables pertaining to the notion of ideology, both in terms of statistical fit and obtaining unbiased estimates for price and income determinants.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 430-440

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:3:p:430-440

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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Keywords: Environmental preferences Market-based instruments Direct democracy;

References

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  17. Deacon, Robert T & Shapiro, Perry, 1975. "Private Preference for Collective Goods Revealed Through Voting on Referenda," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 943-55, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dorsch, Michael, 2011. "The Willingness to Pay for Environmental Protection: Are Developing Economies Different?," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 24, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  2. Sven Rudolph & Friedrich Schneider, 2011. "Did the Japanese Patient Follow the Doctor's Orders? Mostly no! A Public Choice Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Schemes in Japan before and after the Earthquake," CESifo Working Paper Series 3639, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00492178 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Andrea Kollmann & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Why does Environmental Policy in Representative Democracies Tend to be Inadequate? A Preliminary Public Choice Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3223, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Wu, Xiaoyu & Cutter, Bowman, 2011. "Who votes for public environmental goods in California?: Evidence from a spatial analysis of voting for environmental ballot measures," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 554-563, January.

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