Economic Prescriptions and Public Responses to Climate Policy
Genève : Haute école de gestion de Genève, 2014. 18 p. Cahier de recherche No HES-SO/HEG-GE/C-14/3/1--CH
20 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2016
Date Written: November 1, 2014
Public acceptability is one of the main barriers to the implementation of carbon taxes. Qualitative evidence based on a sample of individuals interviewed in Geneva, Switzerland, shows that the general public would not tackle climate change as economists suggest. The gap concerns not only the choice of climate policy’s instruments (i.e. pull versus push measures), but also its specific design in the case of carbon taxes. In this respect, the gap is driven by a diffused perception of environmental ineffectiveness of carbon taxes, which goes hand in hand with distrust in the government and a strong demand for earmarking carbon tax revenues for environmental purposes. Our empirical findings are consistent with the recent literature on the public’s preferences on environmental policy design and provide new evidence for the need to reconsider the conventional approach to economic instruments and environmental tax reforms. Reducing resistance to the implementation of Pigouvian taxes cannot abstract from providing effective responses to the concerns emphasized by the general public.
Keywords: Climate policy, Carbon tax, Social responses, Public acceptability
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