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The Environmental Effect of Green Taxation: the Case of the French "Bonus/Malus"






    (Commission européenne)

At the beginning of 2008 was introduced in France a feebate on the purchase of new cars called the Bonus/Malus. Since January 2008, less polluting cars benefit from a price reduction of up to 1,000 euros, while the most polluting ones are subject to a taxation of 2,600 euros. We estimate the impact of this policy on carbon dioxide emissions in the short and long run. These emissions depend on the market shares and the average emissions per kilometer of each car, but also on their manufacturing, car fleet size and the average number of kilometers travelled by their owners. We first develop a simple tractable model that relates car choice and mileage. We then estimate this model, using both the exhaustive dataset of car registrations and a recent transportation survey which provides information on individual journeys. We show that if the shift towards classes benefiting from rebates is spectacular, the environmental impact of the policy is negative. The reform has notably increased sales, leading to an important increase in manufacturing and travelling emissions. We thus stress that such policies may be efficient tool for reducing CO2 emissions since consumers do react to such financial incentives, but should be designed with care to achieve their primary goal.

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File Function: Document de travail de la DESE numéro G2011-14
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Paper provided by Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE in its series Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE with number g2011-14.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:crs:wpdeee:g2011-14
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  1. James M. Sallee & Joel Slemrod, 2010. "Car Notches: Strategic Automaker Responses to Fuel Economy Policy," NBER Working Papers 16604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Greene, David L. & Patterson, Philip D. & Singh, Margaret & Li, Jia, 2005. "Feebates, rebates and gas-guzzler taxes: a study of incentives for increased fuel economy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 757-775, April.
  3. Jerome Adda & Russell Cooper, 1997. "Balladurette and Juppette: A Discrete Analysis of Scrapping Subsidies," Papers 0076, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  4. Fullerton, Don & West, Sarah E., 2002. "Can Taxes on Cars and on Gasoline Mimic an Unavailable Tax on Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 135-157, January.
  5. Maxim Engers & Monica Hartmann & Steven Stern, 2009. "Annual miles drive used car prices," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 1-33.
  6. Soren T. Anderson & James M. Sallee, 2009. "Using Loopholes to Reveal the Marginal Cost of Regulation: The Case of Fuel-Economy Standards," Working Papers 0901, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  7. Holland, Stephen P & Knittel, Christopher R & Hughes, Jonathan E., 2008. "Greenhouse Gas Reductions under Low Carbon Fuel Standards?," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt0177r7xp, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  8. Ye Feng & Don Fullerton & Li Gan, 2005. "Vehicle Choices, Miles Driven, and Pollution Policies," NBER Working Papers 11553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Peters, Anja & Mueller, Michel G. & de Haan, Peter & Scholz, Roland W., 2008. "Feebates promoting energy-efficient cars: Design options to address more consumers and possible counteracting effects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1355-1365, April.
  10. Cardell, N. Scott, 1997. "Variance Components Structures for the Extreme-Value and Logistic Distributions with Application to Models of Heterogeneity," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 185-213, April.
  11. Don Fullerton & Andrew Leicester & Stephen Smith, 2008. "Environmental Taxes," NBER Working Papers 14197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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