Effectiveness, earmarking and labeling: testing the acceptability of carbon taxes with survey data


This paper analyzes the drivers of carbon taxes acceptability with survey data and a randomized labeling treatment. Based on a sample of more than 300 individuals, it assesses the effect on acceptability of specific policy designs and individuals’ perceptions of carbon taxes advantages and disadvantages. We find that the lack of perception of primary and ancillary benefits is one of the main barriers to the acceptability of carbon taxes. In addition, policy design matters for acceptability and in particular earmarking fiscal revenues for environmental purposes can lead to larger support. We also find an effect of labeling, comparing the wording “climate contribution” with “carbon tax”. We argue that proper policy design coupled with effective communication on the effects of carbon taxes may lead to a substantial improvement in acceptability.