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A choice experiment on fuel taxation and earmarking in Norway

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  • Sclen, Håkon
  • Kallbekken, Steffen

Abstract

Pigouvian taxes are efficient -- but unpopular among voters -- and hence often politically infeasible. Earmarking of revenues has been widely reported to increase public support for taxes, but earmarking is generally not the most efficient use of the revenues. This trade-off between efficiency and political feasibility is the motivation for our primary research objective: to quantify the effect of earmarking on support for fuel tax rises. Our secondary research objective is to investigate why earmarking increases support. Using data from a representative sample of the Norwegian voter population (NÂ =Â 1147), we estimate models of voter preferences for fuel taxes using logistic regression models. Our results show that, in the absence of earmarking, the majority of voters would like to reduce fuel taxes, but earmarking the revenues for environmental measures has a substantial effect on voter support for fuel tax increases, garnering a majority for increases of up to 15% above present levels. Further analysis indicates that a prime reason why earmarking for environmental measures is popular is that it increases the perceived environmental effectiveness of the tax, and hence its legitimacy as an environmental rather than a fiscal policy instrument.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:11:p:2181-2190
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    Cited by:

    1. Anderson, Blake & M'Gonigle, Michael, 2012. "Does ecological economics have a future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 37-48.
    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.
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    4. Runnemark, Emma & Hedman, Jonas & Xiao, Xiao, 2014. "Do Consumers Pay More Using Debit Cards than Cash? An Experiment," Working Papers 2014:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    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. Anna Alberini & Milan Šcasný & Andrea Bigano, 2016. "Policy- v. Individual Heterogeneity in the Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation: Evidence from a Stated-Preference Survey," Working Papers 2016.80, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    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. Baranzini, Andrea & Borzykowski, Nicolas & Carattini, Stefano, 2018. "Carbon offsets out of the woods? Acceptability of domestic vs. international reforestation programmes in the lab," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 87732, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Menegaki, Angeliki, N. & Olsen, Søren Bøye & Tsagarakis, Konstantinos P., 2016. "Towards a common standard – A reporting checklist for web-based stated preference valuation surveys and a critique for mode surveys," Journal of choice modelling, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 18-50.
    10. Alberini, Anna & Bigano, Andrea & Ščasný, Milan & Zvěřinová, Iva, 2016. "Preferences for Energy Efficiency vs. Renewables: How Much Does a Ton of CO2 Emissions Cost?," MITP: Mitigation, Innovation,and Transformation Pathways 249352, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    11. Andreas Ziegler, 2017. "Economic calculus or personal and social values? A micro-econometric analysis of the acceptance of climate and energy policy measures," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201716, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    12. Carl, Jeremy & Fedor, David, 2016. "Tracking global carbon revenues: A survey of carbon taxes versus cap-and-trade in the real world," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 50-77.
    13. 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.
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    15. Habla, Wolfgang & Roeder, Kerstin, 2013. "Intergenerational aspects of ecotax reforms – An application to Germany," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 301-318.
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    19. Elke D. Groh & Andreas Ziegler, 2017. "On self-interested preferences for burden sharing rules: An econometric analysis for the costs of energy policy measures," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201754, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
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    22. repec:eee:ecolec:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:171-185 is not listed on IDEAS

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