Distributional effects of taxing transport fuel
This paper11Thanks for excellent research assistance for this paper to Emmanuel Carlsson. Valuable comments from Francisco Alpizar, Ashokankur Datta and an anonymous referee are gratefully acknowledged as is financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to the Environmental Economics Unit at the University of Gothenburg. takes as its starting point the observation that fuel prices – and thus taxes – are important for good management of climate change and other environmental problems. To economists this should be no surprise yet it seems that the role of fuel taxation as an instrument of climate policy has not been fully appreciated. It is however one of the few policy instruments that, since several decades, has actually reduced fuel consumption appreciably. Thanks to taxation (mainly in Europe and Japan), carbon emissions are considerably lower than they would have been otherwise. In future where carbon emissions are to be cut drastically, this instrument will be crucial. There is however much opposition to the instrument. This opposition uses various arguments, for instance that fuel taxes hurt the poor since they are strongly regressive. We however find that the choice of country and methodology turns out to be of great consequence. We study seven European countries—France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Serbia, Spain and Sweden and do find some evidence of regressivity but the evidence is very weak. It does not apply when lifetime income is used and it does not apply to the poorest country in the group. The best one-line summary is probably that the tax is approximately proportional.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Poterba, James M, 1989.
"Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 325-330, May.
- Poterba, J.M., 1989. "Lifetime Incidence And The Distributional Burden Of Excise Taxes," Working papers 510, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- James M. Poterba, 1989. "Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes," NBER Working Papers 2833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James M. Poterba, 1991. "Is the Gasoline Tax Regressive?," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 145-164 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Poterba, J.M., 1990. "Is The Gasoline Tax Regressive?," Working papers 568, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- James M. Poterba, 1991. "Is the Gasoline Tax Regressive?," NBER Working Papers 3578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sterner, Thomas, 2007. "Fuel taxes: An important instrument for climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 3194-3202, June.
- Schipper, Lee & Figueroa, Maria Josefina & Price, Lynn & Espey, Molly, 1993. "Mind the gap The vicious circle of measuring automobile fuel use," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(12), pages 1173-1190, December.
- Schipper, Lee & Figueroa, Maria J. & Price, Lynn & Espey, Molly, 1993. "Mind the Gap: The Vicious Circle of Measuring Automobile Fuel Use," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt06n8g4x9, University of California Transportation Center.
- Daniel J. Graham & Stephen Glaister, 2002. "The Demand for Automobile Fuel: A Survey of Elasticities," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 36(1), pages 1-25, January.
- Walls, Margaret & Hanson, Jean, 1999. "Distributional Aspects of an Environmental Tax Shift: The Case of Motor Vehicle Emissions Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(1), pages 53-65, March.
- Ashokankur Datta, 2008. "The incidence of fuel taxation in India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 08-05, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
- Antonio M. Bento & Lawrence H. Goulder & Mark R. Jacobsen & Roger H. von Haefen, 2009. "Distributional and Efficiency Impacts of Increased US Gasoline Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 667-699, June.
- Bento, Antonio M. & Goulder, Lawrence H. & Jacobsen, Mark R. & von Haefen, Roger H., 2007. "Distributional and Efficiency Impacts of Increased U.S. Gasoline Taxes," Working Papers 127021, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
- Don Fullerton & Andrew Leicester & Stephen Smith, 2008. "Environmental Taxes," NBER Working Papers 14197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- West, Sarah E. & Williams, R.C.Roberton III, 2004. "Estimates from a consumer demand system: implications for the incidence of environmental taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 535-558, May.
- Sarah E. West & Roberton C. Williams III, 2002. "Estimates from a Consumer Demand System: Implications for the Incidence of Environmental Taxes," NBER Working Papers 9152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kakwani, Nanok C, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 71-80, March.
- Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1999. "A Distributional Analysis of Green Tax Reforms," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 4), pages 655-82, December.
- Asensio, Javier & Matas, Anna & Raymond, Jose-Luis, 2003. "Petrol expenditure and redistributive effects of its taxation in Spain," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 49-69, January.
- Dahl, Carol & Sterner, Thomas, 1991. "Analysing gasoline demand elasticities: a survey," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 203-210, July.
- Chernick, Howard & Reschovsky, Andrew, 1997. "Who Pays the Gasoline Tax?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(2), pages 233-59, June.
- Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1999. "A Distributional Analysis of Green Tax Reforms," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(4), pages 655-682, December.
- West, Sarah E., 2004. "Distributional effects of alternative vehicle pollution control policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 735-757, March.
- Chernick, Howard & Reschovsky, Andrew, 1997. "Who Pays the Gasoline Tax?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(2), pages 233-259, June.
- Walls, Margaret & Hanson, Jean, 1999. "Distributional Aspects of an Environmental Tax Shift: The Case of Motor Vehicle Emissions Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 1), pages 53-65, March.
- Drollas, Leonidas P., 1984. "The demand for gasoline : Further evidence," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 71-82, January. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:41:y:2012:i:c:p:75-83. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.