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Heavy subsidization reduces free-ridership : Evidence from an econometric study of the French dwelling insulation tax credit

  • Marie-Laure Nauleau

    (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS)

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    This econometric study assesses the efficiency of the tax credit implemented in France in 2005 on dwelling retrofitting investments. A before-after estimation is performed at the extensive and intensive margins on micro data over 2001-2011, focusing on insulation measures (windows, walls, roofs, floor, ceilings). After 2-years of latency with no significant effect, the tax credit has had an increasing significant positive effect at both margins between 2007 and 2010, with a decrease in 2011, in line with the tax credit rate evolutions. Focusing on opaque surfaces insulation, the positive effect only started in 2009, when a reform included labor cost in the tax credit base for these retrofitting measures. The percentage of subsidized households that would have invested even in the absence of the subsidy decreases from 79% in 2007 to 43% in 2010. The annual additional private investment in retrofitting generated by 1€ of public expenses was estimated at 3.4€ on average (standard deviation : 2.4) between 2007 and 2010.

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    Paper provided by HAL in its series CIRED Working Papers with number hal-00866445.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:ciredw:hal-00866445
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00866445
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    1. Train, Kenneth, 1985. "Discount rates in consumers' energy-related decisions: A review of the literature," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 10(12), pages 1243-1253.
    2. Sorrell, Steve & Dimitropoulos, John & Sommerville, Matt, 2009. "Empirical estimates of the direct rebound effect: A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1356-1371, April.
    3. Walsh, Michael J., 1989. "Energy tax credits and housing improvement," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 275-284, October.
    4. Martin Jakob, 2007. "The drivers of and barriers to energy efficiency in renovation decisions of single-family home-owners," CEPE Working paper series 07-56, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
    5. Dubin, Jeffrey A. & Henson, Steven E., 1988. "The distributional effects of the Federal Energy Tax Act," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 191-212, September.
    6. Jaffe, Adam B. & Stavins, Robert N., 1994. "The energy-efficiency gap What does it mean?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 804-810, October.
    7. Peter Grosche & Colin Vance, 2009. "Willingness to Pay for Energy Conservation and Free-Ridership on Subsidization: Evidence from Germany," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 135-154.
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