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Beyond political divides: Analyzing public opinion on carbon taxation in Switzerland

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  • Laurent Ott
  • Mehdi Farsi
  • Sylvain Weber

Abstract

This paper investigates public opinion on the Swiss CO2 levy and its 2020 revision by using a discrete choice experiment answered by a sample of 586 respondents living in Switzerland. The experiment is designed to elicit citizen preferences among various taxation attributes and is followed by a referendum voting experiment on various CO2 levy proposals. Based on latent class modeling approaches, we find that the population is composed by two distinct but relatively preference profiles: Environmentalists and Neutrals. Respondents belonging to the first group tend to favor higher carbon tax rates and a redistribution of proceeds benefiting low-income individuals, whereas those in the second group prefer lower rates and a uniform redistribution of proceeds across all taxpayers. Findings from the voting experiment point to a general support among the Environmentalists, but an uncertain approval from the Neutral group.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurent Ott & Mehdi Farsi & Sylvain Weber, 2020. "Beyond political divides: Analyzing public opinion on carbon taxation in Switzerland," IRENE Working Papers 20-11, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:irn:wpaper:20-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Carbon tax; preference heterogeneity; public opinion; latent class; discrete choice experiment.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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