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The demand for earmarking: Results from a focus group study


  • Kallbekken, Steffen
  • Aasen, Marianne


Environmental taxes might be efficient, but plans to impose new taxes are often met with fierce public resistance. In order to design environmental taxes that are both efficient and acceptable to the public -- so that they can be politically feasible -- it is important to understand public attitudes towards environmental taxes. We conduct a focus group study in Norway to extend the current knowledge on this issue. We find less general resistance to taxation as a policy instrument, and seemingly more trust in government, than what has been reported in similar studies from other countries. The participants are, however, very skeptical and do not see the point of using the revenues from an environmental tax to reduce other taxes, such as the payroll tax. Instead they express a very strong preference for earmarking the revenues for environmental purposes. They also call for more information about environmental taxes, in particular on how the revenues are spent. Providing more information, including what the revenues are spent on -- irrespective of whether they are earmarked or not, would seem to provide a relatively cheap and possibly effective way to increase the public acceptability of new or increased environmental taxes.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:11:p:2183-2190

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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Steffen Kallbekken & Stephan Kroll & Todd L Cherry, 2010. "Pigouvian tax aversion and inequity aversion in the lab," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(3), pages 1914-1921.
    2. Andrea Baranzini & Stefano Carattini, 2017. "Effectiveness, earmarking and labeling: testing the acceptability of carbon taxes with survey data," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 19(1), pages 197-227, January.
    3. Stefano Carattini & Andrea Baranzini & Philippe Thalmann & Frédéric Varone & Frank Vöhringer, 2017. "Green Taxes in a Post-Paris World: Are Millions of Nays Inevitable?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(1), pages 97-128, September.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. David Heres & Steffen Kallbekken & Ibon Galarraga, 2013. "Understanding Public Support for Externality-Correcting Taxes and Subsidies: A Lab Experiment," Working Papers 2013-04, BC3.
    7. Z. Eylem Gevrek & Ayse Uyduranoglu, 2015. "Public Preferences for Carbon Tax Attributes," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2015-15, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    8. Klenert, David & Mattauch, Linus & Combet, Emmanuel & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Hepburn, Cameron & Rafaty, Ryan & Stern, Nicholas, 2017. "Making Carbon Pricing Work," MPRA Paper 80943, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Fochmann, Martin & Kroll, Eike B., 2016. "The effects of rewards on tax compliance decisions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 38-55.
    10. repec:eee:touman:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:130-139 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Kallbekken, Steffen & Garcia, Jorge H. & Korneliussen, Kristine, 2013. "Determinants of public support for transport taxes," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 67-78.
    12. Hamilton, Carl J. & Eliasson, Jonas & Brundell-Freij, Karin & Raux, Charles & Souche, Stephanie & Kiiskilää, Kati & Tervonen, Juha, 2014. "Determinants of congestion pricing acceptability," Working papers in Transport Economics 2014:11, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    13. Gevrek, Z.Eylem & Uyduranoglu, Ayse, 2015. "Public preferences for carbon tax attributes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 186-197.
    14. Abbiati, Lorenzo & Antinyan, Armenak & Corazzini, Luca, 2014. "Are taxes beautiful? A survey experiment on information, tax choice and perceived adequacy of the tax burden," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 02/2014, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    15. Fochmann, Martin & Kroll, Eike B., 2014. "The effects of rewards on tax compliance decisions," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 163, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    16. David R. Heres & Steffen Kallbekken & Ibon Galarraga, 2017. "The Role of Budgetary Information in the Preference for Externality-Correcting Subsidies over Taxes: A Lab Experiment on Public Support," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(1), pages 1-15, January.
    17. repec:eee:ecolec:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:171-185 is not listed on IDEAS


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