Should We Trust in Values? Explaining Public Support for Pro-Environmental Taxes
In this paper we are concerned with what explains public acceptance and support of environmental taxes. We examine findings in environmental psychology emphasizing that peopleâ€™s (environmental) value-orientation is the dominant driver determining individualsâ€™ support for pro-environmental policy instruments. We introduce a complementary model, mainly drawing upon findings in political science, suggesting that peopleâ€™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 individualsâ€™ 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 peopleâ€™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.
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