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On self-interested preferences for burden sharing rules: An econometric analysis for the costs of energy policy measures

Elke D. Groh and Andreas Ziegler

Energy Economics, 2018, vol. 74, issue C, 417-426

Abstract: This paper examines the acceptance of burden sharing rules that refer to the costs of the German energy transition, which is one of the most challenging and disputed national climate and energy policy measures. Based on data from a comprehensive survey of more than 2200 citizens, the empirical analysis reveals that the polluter-pays rule has by far the highest support compared with the ability-to-pay rule and especially compared with the equal-pay rule, which is widely refused in the sample. Since the distribution of the costs of the German energy transition is largely in line with a polluter-pays rule, its strong support seems to contribute to the high acceptance of the energy transition at all. The main result of our econometric analysis with multivariate binary and ordered probit models is that not only some attitudinal factors like environmental values and political identification, but especially economic self-interest is relevant since (equivalent) energy expenditures have a significantly negative effect on the support of the polluter-pays rule and especially (equivalent) income has a significantly negative effect on the preference for the ability-to-pay rule. These results suggest that the use of distributional arguments for the criticism of energy policy measures is not necessarily value-driven on the basis of real perceptions of distributive justice, but can also be strategically motivated to prevent and combat economically unfavorable measures. Together with the strong general support of the polluter-pays rule, these results suggest that a sharp reorientation of the German energy transition due to distributional arguments is not very useful.

Keywords: Climate change; Climate and energy policy measures; Burden sharing rules; Economic self-interest; Attitudinal factors; Multivariate binary and ordered probit models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q54 Q48 Q42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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