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On the Acceptability of the Ambient Tax Mechanism: An Experimental Investigation

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Author Info

  • Kene Boun My

    ()
    (BETA-Theme, Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg (France))

  • Francois Cochard

    ()
    (Toulouse School of Economics, LERNA (France))

  • Anthony Ziegelmeyer

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group, Jena (Germany))

Abstract

Our objective in this paper is to assess the acceptability of the ambient tax. Concretely, we ask subjects to choose between (A) an ambient tax and (B) an individual tax system. In case (A), they actually participate in a game in which their payoff depends on all participants' decisions and on natural variability as would be the case in the real world if an ambient tax was implemented. In case (B) they simply earn a sure payoff, which is supposed to reflect their maximal profit under the individual tax system. We take the percentage of agents preferring the ambient tax to a given sure payoff level as an indicator of the acceptability of the ambient tax given this sure payoff level. Our experimental results mitigate the common belief that ambient taxes are totally unacceptable. If the "sure" alternative to the ambient tax policy is very costly for the polluters, for example because it involves high inspection costs, polluters might eventually prefer being liable to an ambient tax.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2007-081.

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Date of creation: 12 Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-081

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Keywords: Nonpoint Source Pollution; Group Decision Making; Experiments; Acceptability of fiscal instruments.;

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References

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  1. François Cochard & Marc Willinger & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2005. "Efficiency of nonpoint source pollution instruments: an experimental study," Working Papers 23298, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  2. Spraggon, John, 2002. "Exogenous targeting instruments as a solution to group moral hazards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 427-456, June.
  3. Spraggon, John, 2004. "Testing ambient pollution instruments with heterogeneous agents," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 837-856, September.
  4. Christian A. Vossler & Gregory L. Poe & William D. Schulze & Kathleen Segerson, 2006. "Communication and Incentive Mechanisms Based on Group Performance: An Experimental Study of Nonpoint Pollution Control," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(4), pages 599-613, October.
  5. R. Isaac & James Walker, 1998. "Nash as an Organizing Principle in the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 191-206, December.
  6. Marc Willinger & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2001. "Strength of the Social Dilemma in a Public Goods Experiment: An Exploration of the Error Hypothesis," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 131-144, October.
  7. Horan, Richard D. & Shortle, James S. & Abler, David G., 1998. "Ambient Taxes When Polluters Have Multiple Choices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 186-199, September.
  8. Rutstrom, E. Elisabet & Williams, Melonie B., 2000. "Entitlements and fairness:: an experimental study of distributive preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 75-89, September.
  9. Francois Cochard & Anthony Ziegelmeyer & Kene Boun My, 2005. "The Regulation of Nonpoint Emissions in the Laboratory: A Stress Test of the Ambient Tax Mechanism," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-37, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  10. Francisco Alpízar & Till Requate & Albert Schram, 2004. "Collective versus Random Fining: An Experimental Study on Controlling Ambient Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(2), pages 231-252, October.
  11. Lars Hansen, 1998. "A Damage Based Tax Mechanism for Regulation of Non-Point Emissions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(1), pages 99-112, July.
  12. Gregory L. Poe & William D. Schulze & Kathleen Segerson & Jordan F. Suter & Christian A. Vossler, 2004. "Exploring the Performance of Ambient-Based Policy Instruments When Nonpoint Source Polluters Can Cooperate," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1203-1210.
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Cited by:
  1. François Cochard & Anne Rozan, 2010. "Taxe ambiante : un outil adapté à la lutte contre les coulées de boue ? Une étude expérimentale," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 91(3), pages 296-326.

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