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Environmental responsibility versus taxation

  • Bazin, D.
  • Ballet, J.
  • Touahri, D.

Taxation, as a tool of environmental economic policy, traditionally aims at generating a discouraging effect upon both the consumer and producer. Environmental degradation should finally stabilize itself. The mechanism of taxation replies to a behavioural stimulus (taxes versus subsidies). Recent economic analyses have not aimed at focusing their studies concerning the very responsibility of economic actors on anything else other than the mechanism of taxation. Taxes thus imply responsible behaviour. We shall attempt to highlight that responsibility could be defined independently from taxation and that the affirmation of responsibility is inversed to taxation. Technically speaking, we shall demonstrate that the taxation extolled by the legislator induces a certain crowding out effect as regards to responsibility. In the first part of this article we shall therefore insist that economic policies in terms of taxation drive away the sentiment of individual responsibility. We shall reason in terms of production and consumption to demonstrate this fact. Finally, we shall insist that a high degree of responsibility could substitute taxation.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 49 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 129-134

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:49:y:2004:i:2:p:129-134
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  1. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
  2. Bruno Frey, 1992. "Pricing and regulating affect environmental ethics," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(4), pages 399-414, July.
  3. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Kverndokk, Snorre & Nyborg, Karine, 2003. "An economic model of moral motivation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1967-1983, September.
  4. John, A. & Pecchenino, R. & Schimmelpfennig, D. & Schreft, S., 1995. "Short-lived agents and the long-lived environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 127-141, September.
  5. Howarth, Richard B & Norgaard, Richard B, 1992. "Environmental Valuation under Sustainable Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 473-77, May.
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