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On the Acceptability of the Ambient Tax Mechanism: An Experimental Investigation

Author

Listed:
  • Kene Boun My

    () (BETA-Theme, Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg (France))

  • Francois Cochard

    () (Toulouse School of Economics, LERNA (France))

  • Anthony Ziegelmeyer

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group, Jena (Germany))

Abstract

Our objective in this paper is to assess the acceptability of the ambient tax. Concretely, we ask subjects to choose between (A) an ambient tax and (B) an individual tax system. In case (A), they actually participate in a game in which their payoff depends on all participants' decisions and on natural variability as would be the case in the real world if an ambient tax was implemented. In case (B) they simply earn a sure payoff, which is supposed to reflect their maximal profit under the individual tax system. We take the percentage of agents preferring the ambient tax to a given sure payoff level as an indicator of the acceptability of the ambient tax given this sure payoff level. Our experimental results mitigate the common belief that ambient taxes are totally unacceptable. If the "sure" alternative to the ambient tax policy is very costly for the polluters, for example because it involves high inspection costs, polluters might eventually prefer being liable to an ambient tax.

Suggested Citation

  • Kene Boun My & Francois Cochard & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2007. "On the Acceptability of the Ambient Tax Mechanism: An Experimental Investigation," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-081, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-081
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    File URL: http://zs.thulb.uni-jena.de/receive/jportal_jparticle_00082371
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Spraggon, John, 2002. "Exogenous targeting instruments as a solution to group moral hazards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 427-456, June.
    2. François Cochard & Marc Willinger & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2005. "Efficiency of Nonpoint Source Pollution Instruments: An Experimental Study," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 30(4), pages 393-422, April.
    3. Francois Cochard & Anthony Ziegelmeyer & Kene Boun My, 2005. "The Regulation of Nonpoint Emissions in the Laboratory: A Stress Test of the Ambient Tax Mechanism," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-37, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    4. R. Isaac & James Walker, 1998. "Nash as an Organizing Principle in the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(3), pages 191-206, December.
    5. Marc Willinger & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2001. "Strength of the Social Dilemma in a Public Goods Experiment: An Exploration of the Error Hypothesis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 4(2), pages 131-144, October.
    6. Gregory L. Poe & William D. Schulze & Kathleen Segerson & Jordan F. Suter & Christian A. Vossler, 2004. "Exploring the Performance of Ambient-Based Policy Instruments When Nonpoint Source Polluters Can Cooperate," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1203-1210.
    7. Horan, Richard D. & Shortle, James S. & Abler, David G., 1998. "Ambient Taxes When Polluters Have Multiple Choices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 186-199, September.
    8. Francisco Alpízar & Till Requate & Albert Schram, 2004. "Collective versus Random Fining: An Experimental Study on Controlling Ambient Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(2), pages 231-252, October.
    9. Rutstrom, E. Elisabet & Williams, Melonie B., 2000. "Entitlements and fairness:: an experimental study of distributive preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 75-89, September.
    10. Spraggon, John, 2004. "Testing ambient pollution instruments with heterogeneous agents," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 837-856, September.
    11. Christian A. Vossler & Gregory L. Poe & William D. Schulze & Kathleen Segerson, 2006. "Communication and Incentive Mechanisms Based on Group Performance: An Experimental Study of Nonpoint Pollution Control," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(4), pages 599-613, October.
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    13. Shortle, James S & Horan, Richard D, 2001. " The Economics of Nonprofit Pollution Control," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 255-289, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gaston Giordana & Marc Willinger, 2013. "Regulatory instruments for monitoring ambient pollution," Chapters,in: Handbook on Experimental Economics and the Environment, chapter 7, pages 193-232 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. François Cochard & Anne Rozan, 2010. "Taxe ambiante : un outil adapté à la lutte contre les coulées de boue ? Une étude expérimentale," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 91(3), pages 296-326.
    3. Marc Willinger & Nasreddine Ammar & Ahmed Ennasri, 2014. "Performance of the Ambient Tax: Does the Nature of the Damage Matter?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 59(3), pages 479-502, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nonpoint Source Pollution; Group Decision Making; Experiments; Acceptability of fiscal instruments.;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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