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The effect on CO2 emissions of taxing truck distance in retail transports

Kenneth Carling, Johan Håkansson, Xiangli Meng and Niklas Rudholm

Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 2017, vol. 97, issue C, 47-54

Abstract: To finance transportation infrastructure and to address social and environmental negative externalities of road transports, several countries have recently introduced or consider a distance based tax on trucks. In competitive retail and transportation markets, such tax can be expected to lower the demand and thereby reduce CO2 emissions of road transports. However, as we show in this paper, such tax might also slow down the transition towards e-tailing. Considering that previous research indicates that a consumer switching from brick-and-mortar shopping to e-tailing reduces her CO2 emissions substantially, the direction and magnitude of the environmental net effect of the tax is unclear. In this paper, we assess the net effect in a Swedish regional retail market where the tax not yet is in place. We predict the net effect on CO2 emissions to be positive, but off-set by about 50% because of a slower transition to e-tailing.

Keywords: Spatial distribution of e-tailing and consumers; CO2 emissions measurement; Online retailing; Environmental taxes; Carbon footprint; Road network (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D22 L13 L81 R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2017.01.010

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