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Climate Policy Measures: What do people prefer ?


  • Cole, Scott

    (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

  • Brännlund, Runar

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå University)


Several countries are responding to the climate change threat with various policy measures (e.g., taxes, permit trading, regulations, information campaigns, etc). While the effectiveness of different measures (instruments) has been studied extensively, very little research exists related to public preferences for alternative measures. This paper describes the results of a pilot study to determine whether a choice experiment might be a feasible approach for measuring preferences for carbon dioxide reduction policies, while ensuring careful consideration of the budget constraint facing households. We focus on estimating the public’s marginal utilities and implicit prices for a select group of attributes that describe climate policy measures in general. The results from the pilot study indicate that when respondents trade-off the cost of alternative and unlabeled policy measures, they are willing to pay for those that encourage (1) the development of environmentally-friendly technology and (2) climate awareness among the Swedish population. Finding (1) could be interpreted to mean public support for market-based measures (e.g., taxes and permit trading) while finding (2) seems to support the use of information in the design of climate policy measures in order to encourage carbon dioxide-reducing behavior. Finally, our pilot study assumed that respondents’ preferences for the cost-sharing burden (equity) of measures might be defined in terms of an individual’s ability to pay. Given this assumption, our results indicate weak preferences for non-regressive cost distribution, but progressive cost distribution had no effect on choice. We offer several possible conclusions from this preliminary investigation into climate policy preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Cole, Scott & Brännlund, Runar, 2009. "Climate Policy Measures: What do people prefer ?," Umeå Economic Studies 767, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0767

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:taf:tcpoxx:v:17:y:2017:i:0:p:s111-s130 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Alló, Maria & Loureiro, Maria L., 2014. "The role of social norms on preferences towards climate change policies: A meta-analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 563-574.
    3. Alberini, Anna & Ščasný, Milan & Bigano, Andrea, 2016. "Policy- v. Individual Heterogeneity in the Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation: Evidence from a Stated-Preference Survey," MITP: Mitigation, Innovation and Transformation Pathways 251814, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    4. Milan Ščasný & Iva Zvěřinová & Mikolaj Czajkowski & Eva Kyselá & Katarzyna Zagórska, 2017. "Public acceptability of climate change mitigation policies: a discrete choice experiment," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(0), pages 111-130, June.
    5. Alberini, Anna & Bigano, Andrea & Ščasný, Milan & Zvěřinová, Iva, 2016. "Preferences for Energy Efficiency vs. Renewables: How Much Does a Ton of CO2 Emissions Cost?," MITP: Mitigation, Innovation and Transformation Pathways 249352, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    6. repec:eee:ecolec:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:171-185 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    market-based mechanisms; information effects; equity; choice experiment; preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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