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The Public Acceptance of Green Taxes: 2 Million Voters Express Their Opinion

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  • Philippe Thalmann

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Abstract

In September 2000, 4.7 million Swiss citizens were invited to vote on three proposals for taxes on fossil energy. They differed by tax rate and mode of revenue recycling. All three were rejected, one by only 3.4%. I analyze the votes using individual data of a post-referendum survey. Few voters paid attention to the fine differences between the proposals made. Those who did favored the smaller tax with revenues earmarked for a wide range of subsidies. The promise of a favorable direct impact on employment made by a mini green tax reform was not understood or valued. Citizens with leftist affinities and better education were more favorable.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 119 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1_2 (04)
Pages: 179-217

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:119:y:2004:i:1_2:p:179-217

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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Cited by:
  1. Menz, Tobias & Welsch, Heinz, 2012. "Population aging and carbon emissions in OECD countries: Accounting for life-cycle and cohort effects," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 842-849.
  2. Charles Raux & Stéphanie Souche & Yves Croissant, 2009. "How fair is pricing perceived to be? An empirical study," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 227-240, April.
  3. Ashworth, John & Geys, Benny & Heyndels, Bruno, 2006. "Determinants of tax innovation: The case of environmental taxes in Flemish municipalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 223-247, March.
  4. Sclen, Håkon & Kallbekken, Steffen, 2011. "A choice experiment on fuel taxation and earmarking in Norway," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2181-2190, September.
  5. Kallbekken, Steffen & Sælen, Håkon, 2011. "Public acceptance for environmental taxes: Self-interest, environmental and distributional concerns," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2966-2973, May.
  6. Nelson, Erik & Uwasu, Michinori & Polasky, Stephen, 2007. "Voting on open space: What explains the appearance and support of municipal-level open space conservation referenda in the United States?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 580-593, May.
  7. Lenouvel, Vincent & Montginoul, Marielle, 2010. "Groundwater Management Instruments in a Conjunctive Use System: Assessing the Impact on Farmers’ Income Using Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP)," Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, vol. 59(3).
  8. 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.
  9. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00492178 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Andrea Kollmann & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Why Does Environmental Policy in Representative Democracies Tend to Be Inadequate? A Preliminary Public Choice Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(12), pages 3710-3734, November.
  11. Drosdowski, Thomas, 2006. "On the Link Between Democracy and Environment," Diskussionspapiere der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Leibniz Universität Hannover dp-355, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  12. David Heres & Steffen Kallbekken & Ibon Galarraga, 2013. "Understanding Public Support for Externality-Correcting Taxes and Subsidies: A Lab Experiment," Working Papers 2013-04, BC3.
  13. Uwasu, Michinori & Nelson, Erik & Polasky, Stephen, 2005. "Voting on Open Space: An Analysis of the Decision to Hold a Referendum and of Referendum Results," Staff Papers 13837, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
  14. Leo Wangler, 2012. "The political economy of the green technology sector: A study about institutions, diffusion and efficiency," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 51-81, February.
  15. Kallbekken, Steffen & Aasen, Marianne, 2010. "The demand for earmarking: Results from a focus group study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2183-2190, September.
  16. Krishnakumar, Jaya & Müller, Tobias, 2012. "The political economy of immigration in a direct democracy: The case of Switzerland," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 174-189.
  17. Daniel Halbheer & Sarah Niggli & Armin Schmutzler, 2006. "What Does it Take to Sell Environmental Policy? An Empirical Analysis of Referendum Data," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(4), pages 441-462, 04.
  18. Bornstein, Nicholas & Lanz, Bruno, 2008. "Voting on the environment: Price or ideology? Evidence from Swiss referendums," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 430-440, October.
  19. 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.
  20. Menz, Tobias & Welsch, Heinz, 2010. "Population aging and environmental preferences in OECD countries: The case of air pollution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2582-2589, October.
  21. Hsu, Shi-Ling & Walters, Joshua & Purgas, Anthony, 2008. "Pollution tax heuristics: An empirical study of willingness to pay higher gasoline taxes," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 3612-3619, September.

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