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The impact of fuel taxes on public transport -- an empirical assessment for Germany


  • Storchmann, K. -H.


An increase in fuel taxes is often connected with the hypothesis of a triple dividend: Apart from the modal-shift-effect, which relieves the environment as well as the infrastructure, and the fiscal effect, which should increase the public revenue, the movement of passengers to public transport systems should decrease its deficit. However, this calculation fails because higher fuel prices increase peak-hour transit use but not leisure or off-peak transit. But the typical attribute of peak traffic is above-average marginal costs and below average revenues. Therefore, higher fuel taxes will increase public transport's deficit rather than decrease it. The fiscal lucrativeness of higher fuel taxes will be significantly lower than is often expected.

Suggested Citation

  • Storchmann, K. -H., 2001. "The impact of fuel taxes on public transport -- an empirical assessment for Germany," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 19-28, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:8:y:2001:i:1:p:19-28

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Drollas, Leonidas P., 1984. "The demand for gasoline : Further evidence," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 71-82, January.
    2. Hsing, Yu, 1990. "On the variable elasticity of the demand for gasoline : The case of the USA," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 132-136, April.
    3. Storchmann, Karl-Heinz, 1999. "Das Defizit im öffentlichen Personennahverkehr in Theorie und Empirie," RWI Schriften, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, volume 64, number 64.
    4. Glaister, Stephen, 1974. "Generalised Consumer Surplus and Public Transport Pricing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 84(336), pages 849-867, December.
    5. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
    6. Molly Espey, 1996. "Explaining the Variation in Elasticity Estimates of Gasoline Demand in the United States: A Meta-Analysis," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 49-60.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frondel, Manuel & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Vance, Colin, 2008. "A Regression on Climate Policy - The European Commission's Proposal to Reduce CO2 Emissions from Transport," Ruhr Economic Papers 44, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Mahlia, T.M.I. & Tohno, S. & Tezuka, T., 2013. "International experience on incentive program in support of fuel economy standards and labelling for motor vehicle: A comprehensive review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 18-33.
    3. Ehrlich, Lars & Wolf, André, 2015. "Determinanten und Risiken der Energiepreisentwicklung und ihre Implikationen für den städtischen Verkehr: Studie für die Hamburger Hochbahn AG," HWWI Policy Papers 93, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    4. Simone Borghesi & Chiara Calastri & Giorgio Fagiolo, 2014. "How do people choose their commuting mode? An evolutionary approach to transport choices," LEM Papers Series 2014/15, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    5. Frondel, Manuel & Vance, Colin, 2010. "A Count Data Analysis of Ridership in Germany's Public Transport," Ruhr Economic Papers 209, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Mattson, Jeremy, 2008. "The Effects of Gasoline Prices on Bus Ridership for Different Types of Transit Systems," Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, Transportation Research Forum, vol. 47(3).
    7. Cavalcanti, Marcelo & Szklo, Alexandre & Machado, Giovani & Arouca, Maurício, 2012. "Taxation of automobile fuels in Brazil: Does ethanol need tax incentives to be competitive and if so, to what extent can they be justified by the balance of GHG emissions?," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 9-18.
    8. Hirte, Georg & Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2013. "The optimal subsidy on electric vehicles in German metropolitan areas: A spatial general equilibrium analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 515-528.
    9. Jovicic, Goran & Hansen, Christian Overgaard, 2003. "A passenger travel demand model for Copenhagen," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 333-349, May.
    10. repec:kap:mktlet:v:28:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11002-017-9427-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Frondel, Manuel & Vance, Colin, 2011. "Rarely enjoyed? A count data analysis of ridership in Germany's public transport," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 425-433, March.

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