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Tax and regulatory policies for European transport - getting there, but in the slow lane

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  • DE BORGER, Bruno
  • PROOST, Stef

Abstract

This paper surveys tax and regulatory policies for road transport in the EU. According to the economic literature, policy reforms are needed that substitute current fuel and vehicle taxes by car and truck user taxes that depend on place and time of use. The survey analyzes how policies have developed over the last 20 years, what was their motivation and what were the main effects. Two ideas stand out. First, external cost concepts have been successfully introduced in policy thinking, but they have mainly lead to quantitative climate, energy and modal split objectives. Achieving these objectives has guided member states into costly policy reforms that have neglected other objectives, such as the efficient use of the current road infrastructure. Second, distance charging for trucks is a policy innovation that is spreading rapidly, but it risks to be mainly used for tax exporting rather than for better internalizing external costs.

Suggested Citation

  • DE BORGER, Bruno & PROOST, Stef, 2015. "Tax and regulatory policies for European transport - getting there, but in the slow lane," Working Papers 2015009, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2015009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transport taxes; Fuel taxes; Road pricing; Distance charging; Transport policy in the EU; External costs;

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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