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Overcoming public resistance to carbon taxes

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  • Carattini, Stefano
  • Carvalho, Maria
  • Fankhauser, Samuel

Abstract

Carbon taxes represent a cost-effective way to steer the economy towards a greener future. In the real world, their application has however been limited. In this paper, we address one of the main obstacles to carbon taxes: public opposition. We identify drivers of and barriers to public support, and, under the form of stylized facts, provide general lessons on the acceptability of carbon taxes. We derive our lessons from a growing literature, as well as from a combination of policy “failures” and “successes”. Based on our stylized facts, we formulate a set of suggestions concerning the design of carbon taxes. We consider the use of trial periods, tax escalators, environmental earmarking, lump-sum transfers, tax rebates, and advanced communication strategies, among others. This paper aims to contribute to the policy debate, ideally leading to more success stories, and less policy failures.

Suggested Citation

  • Carattini, Stefano & Carvalho, Maria & Fankhauser, Samuel, 2018. "Overcoming public resistance to carbon taxes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88137, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:88137
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Carattini & Simon Levin & Alessandro Tavoni, 2019. "Cooperation in the Climate Commons," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(2), pages 227-247.
    2. Raymond, Leigh, 2019. "Policy perspective:Building political support for carbon pricing—Lessons from cap-and-trade policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    3. Soren T. Anderson & Ioana Marinescu & Boris Shor, 2019. "Can Pigou at the Polls Stop Us Melting the Poles?," NBER Working Papers 26146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Douenne, Thomas & Fabre, Adrien, 2020. "French attitudes on climate change, carbon taxation and other climate policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C).
    5. Stefano Carattini & Suphi Sen, 2019. "Carbon Taxes and Stranded Assets: Evidence from Washington State," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1910, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    6. Lin, Boqiang & Jia, Zhijie, 2019. "Impacts of carbon price level in carbon emission trading market," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 239(C), pages 157-170.
    7. Thomas Douenne & Adrien Fabre, 2019. "Can We Reconcile French People with the Carbon Tax? Disentangling Beliefs from Preferences," Working Papers 2019.10, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    8. Michael Reed & Patrick O’Reilly & Joshua Hall, 2019. "The Economics and Politics of Carbon Taxes and Regulations: Evidence from Voting on Washington State’s Initiative 732," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(13), pages 1-12, July.
    9. Lindsey, Robin & Santos, Georgina, 2020. "Addressing transportation and environmental externalities with economics: Are policy makers listening?," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    10. Stefano Carattini & Maria Carvalho & Sam Fankhauser, 2018. "Overcoming public resistance to carbon taxes," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 9(5), September.
    11. Jenny Gabriela Peña Balderrama & Thomas Alfstad & Constantinos Taliotis & Mohammad Reza Hesamzadeh & Mark Howells, 2018. "A Sketch of Bolivia’s Potential Low-Carbon Power System Configurations. The Case of Applying Carbon Taxation and Lowering Financing Costs," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(10), pages 1-20, October.
    12. Umit, Resul & Schaffer, Lena Maria, 2020. "Attitudes towards carbon taxes across Europe: The role of perceived uncertainty and self-interest," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    13. Jihad C. Elnaboulsi & Wassim Daher & Yigit Saglam, 2020. "Environmental Taxation, Information Precision, and Information Sharing," Working Papers 2020-04, CRESE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    carbon taxes; carbon pricing; acceptability; public support; revenue recycling; P2SKP1_165028; ES/K006576/1;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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