Pity the Pig Over Cushioning Climate Change - A Referendum Choice Experiment on Meat Taxation
36 Pages Posted: 13 May 2022 Last revised: 1 Jun 2022
Date Written: May 11, 2022
Externalities from the production and consumption of meat could be addressed by a meat tax. In a referendum choice experiment with 2855 participants, we elicited support for a meat tax varying the following characteristics: tax level, justification of the tax, degree of differentiation and salience of behavioral effects. Only for the lowest tax level tested (on average €0.19/kg), all tax variants received support from a majority of voters. Across all tax levels, support is larger if the charge is justified by animal welfare rather than climate change mitigation. Only small differences can be found for differentiated vs. uniform taxes. Raising the salience of subjective assessments of behavioral responses to a meat tax before voting increases support rates equally for uniform and differentiated tax schemes. While the introduction of a meat tax remains politically challenging, we recommend policymakers to clearly communicate underlying reasons for the tax and its intended effect on behavior to the public.
Keywords: meat consumption, meat tax, carbon pricing, pigouvian tax, tax reform, animal welfare, referendum, choice experiment
JEL Classification: D8, D91, H23, Q18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation