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Household transport consumption inequalities and redistributive effects of taxes: a repeated cross-sectional evaluation for France, Denmark and Cyprus

Abstract : The paper evaluates transport consumption inequalities among households in France, Denmark and Cyprus, investigates their temporal dynamics and estimates the redistributive effects of taxes on different commodity categories. The redistributive effect of a tax is measured by its impact on inequalities. A decomposition by expenditure component of the Gini index is applied, using household-level data from repeated cross-sections of expenditure surveys spanning long time periods. The results highlight the effect of car social diffusion. The relative contribution of vehicle use items to total expenditure inequality decreases over time, reflecting the more and more widespread use of the car. Moreover, fuel taxes become regressive (i.e. they affect the poor more than the rich), while the progressive character of taxes on the remaining car use commodities weakens with time. Taxes on transport goods and services as a whole are progressive (i.e. they affect the rich more than the poor). However, this is principally due to the progressivity of taxes on automobile purchases. The progressivity of taxes on car purchases is by far much stronger in Denmark. In this country, these taxes are so high that car purchase costs can be afforded only by high incomes. These findings highlight that equity issues should not be overlooked when designing policies to attenuate the environmental impact of cars. Increasing car use costs, notably fuel prices, through an increase of uniform taxes would be particularly inequitable. Area-specific measures may be more appropriate.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00861260
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 1:16:33 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 1:16:33 PM

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Akli Berri, Stéphanie Vincent Lyk Jensen, Ismir Mulalic, Theodoros Zachariadis. Household transport consumption inequalities and redistributive effects of taxes: a repeated cross-sectional evaluation for France, Denmark and Cyprus. European Transport Conference, Oct 2009, France. 21 p. ⟨hal-00861260⟩

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