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Is the effect of environmental concern on public support for environmental taxes contingent on the perceived Quality of Government institutions?

Conference contribution
Authors Dragana Davidovic
Niklas Harring
Published in Paper presented at the 76th annual Midwest Political Science Association conference, Chicago, April 5-8, 2018
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Political Science
Language en
Keywords Environmental taxes, public support, policy acceptance, second-order social dilemmas, political trust, environmental concern, quality of government.
Subject categories Political Science


Environmental taxes and other market-based instruments are often argued to be the key to more effective environmental protection. This paper investigates whether such taxes have the necessary public support to be successfully implemented in different contexts, with varying levels of quality of government (QoG). Using data from the International Social Survey Programme and the Quality of Government Institute and applying multilevel analyses, we explore interaction effects between environmental concern and the quality of government. It is hypothesized that if people do not trust public authorities to implement green taxes in an efficient and uncorrupt way, they are less likely to be supportive of them despite their pro-environmental value orientation. The results show that people who state that they are concerned about environmental issues are more willing to support environmental taxes in non-corrupt countries compared to corrupt ones. We conclude that in order to get support for efficient and effective environmental policies the role of, and perceived quality of, institutions is potentially more important than pro-environmental value orientation.

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