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Should We Trust in Values? Explaining Public Support for Pro-Environmental Taxes

Author

Listed:
  • Niklas Harring

    () (Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sprängkullsgatan 19, P.O. Box 711, SE 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden)

  • Sverker C. Jagers

    () (Political Science Unit, Luleå University of Technology & Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sprängkullsgatan 19, P.O. Box 711, SE 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden)

Abstract

In this paper we are concerned with what explains public acceptance and support of environmental taxes. We examine findings in environmental psychology emphasizing that people’s (environmental) value-orientation is the dominant driver determining individuals’ support for pro-environmental policy instruments. We introduce a complementary model, mainly drawing upon findings in political science, suggesting that people’s support for policy instruments is dependent on their level of political trust and their trust in other citizens. More specifically, we analyze whether political trust and inter-personal trust affect individuals’ support for an increased carbon dioxide tax in Sweden, while checking their value orientation, self-interest, and various socio-economic values. We make use of survey data obtained from a mail questionnaire sent out to a random sample of 3,000 individuals in 2009. We find that apart from people’s values, beliefs, and norms, both political trust and interpersonal trust have significant effects on people's attitudes toward an increased tax on carbon dioxide.

Suggested Citation

  • Niklas Harring & Sverker C. Jagers, 2013. "Should We Trust in Values? Explaining Public Support for Pro-Environmental Taxes," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:5:y:2013:i:1:p:210-227:d:22889
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:89:y:1995:i:03:p:543-565_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2005. "Attitudes Towards Paying Taxes in Austria: An Empirical Analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 231-250, June.
    4. Benno Torgler, 2004. "Tax Morale, Trust and Corruption: Empirical Evidence from Transition Countries," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-05, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Henrik Hammar & Sverker C. Jagers, 2005. "Can trust in politicians explain individuals' support for climate policy? The case of CO 2 tax," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(6), pages 613-625, November.
    6. Torgler, Benno, 2003. "To evade taxes or not to evade: that is the question," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 283-302, July.
    7. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale, Rule-Governed Behaviour and Trust," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 119-140, June.
    8. Tietenberg, T H, 1990. "Economic Instruments for Environmental Regulation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 17-33, Spring.
    9. Andrew Dobson, 2007. "Environmental citizenship: towards sustainable development," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 276-285.
    10. Sandmo, Agnar, 2005. "The Theory of Tax Evasion: A Retrospective View," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 58(4), pages 643-663, December.
    11. Hammar, Henrik & Jagers, Sverker C. & Nordblom, Katarina, 2009. "Perceived tax evasion and the importance of trust," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 238-245, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wynveen, Christopher J. & Sutton, Stephen G., 2015. "Engaging the public in climate change-related pro-environmental behaviors to protect coral reefs: The role of public trust in the management agency," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 131-140.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:143-:d:126010 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:ecolec:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:56-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:9:p:1579-:d:111692 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:106-114 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:spr:climat:v:145:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10584-017-2078-x is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Gevrek, Z.Eylem & Uyduranoglu, Ayse, 2015. "Public preferences for carbon tax attributes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 186-197.
    9. Concetta Castiglione & Davide Infante & Janna Smirnova, 2014. "Is There Any Evidence on the Existence of an Environmental Taxation Kuznets Curve? The Case of European Countries under Their Rule of Law Enforcement," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(10), pages 1-21, October.
    10. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:679-:d:96707 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainable development; environment; environmental politics; values; trust; policy instruments;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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