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Energy Taxes as a Signaling Device: An Empirical Analysis of Consumer Preferences

  • Ghalwash, Tarek

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

This paper presents an econometric study dealing with household demand in Sweden. The main objective is to empirically examine the differences in consumer reaction to the introduction of, or the change, in environmental taxes. Main focus is on environmental taxes as a signaling device. The hypothesis is that the introduction of an environmental tax provides new information about the properties of the directly taxed goods. This in turn may affect consumer preferences for these goods, hence altering the consumption choice. The result from the econometric analysis shows that all goods have negative own-price elasticities, and positive income elasticities. Concerning the signalling effect of environmental taxes the results are somewhat ambiguous. The tax elasticity for energy goods used for heating seems to be significantly higher than the traditional price elasticity, whereas the opposite seems to be the case for energy goods used for transportation.

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Paper provided by Umeå University, Department of Economics in its series Umeå Economic Studies with number 646.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 22 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0646
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
Phone: 090 - 786 61 42
Fax: 090 - 77 23 02
Web page: http://www.econ.umu.se/Email:


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  1. Brannlund, Runar & Ghalwash, Tarek & Nordstrom, Jonas, 2007. "Increased energy efficiency and the rebound effect: Effects on consumption and emissions," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
  2. Garcia-Cerrutti, L. Miguel, 2000. "Estimating elasticities of residential energy demand from panel county data using dynamic random variables models with heteroskedastic and correlated error terms," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 355-366, October.
  3. F. Barigozzi & B. Villeneuve, 2004. "The signaling effect of tax policy," Working Papers 500, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  4. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
  5. Heller, H Robert & Khan, Mohsin S, 1979. "The Demand for Money and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 109-29, February.
  6. Halvorsen, Bente & Larsen, Bodil M., 2001. "The flexibility of household electricity demand over time," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-18, January.
  7. Hansen, Bruce E., 1992. "Testing for parameter instability in linear models," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 517-533, August.
  8. Berkhout, Peter H. G. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Muskens, Jos C., 2004. "The ex post impact of an energy tax on household energy demand," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 297-317, May.
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