Transport has a large number of significant externalities including carbon emissions, air pollution, accidents and congestion. Increased active travel such as cycling and walking can reduce these externalities. Moreover, public health research has identified large additional social gains from active travel due to health benefits of increased physical exercise. The authors introduce health benefits and active travel options into a model of transport externalities to study appropriate policy responses. They characterise the optimal second-best fuel tax analytically: when physical exercise is considered welfare-enhancing, the optimal fuel tax increases. Under the central assumptions, the increase is 34 % in the US and 38 % in the UK when health benefits from physical exercise are included. The authors argue that fuel taxes should be implemented jointly with other policies aimed at increasing the uptake of active travel to reap the full health benefits.
Download Paper "Optimal fuel taxation with suboptimal health choices" as PDF file.
Environmental, energy, and ecological problems have grown faster than their solutions. Economists have an important role to play to address these issues by using the latest science, rigorous methods and innovative policy solutions. The SWEEEP webinar series aims to convene the academic community to contribute to the scientific, economic, and policy discourses on important environmental and energy issues.
The seminar presentations are scheduled to last 60 minutes, with questions at the end.
The European Institute on Economics and the Environment is a partnership between Resources for the Future and Foundation CMCC. EIEE’s impartial economic and environmental research aims to facilitate the transition to a sustainable, inclusive society.
Contact: Professor Massimo Tavoni
The Energy Management research team at the Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) combines research on economics, strategic management, technology innovation and energy policy in order to create and share knowledge that will help society move towards a low-carbon future.
Contact: Professor Sébastien Houde
The ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research is a leading German economic policy institute and a member of the Leibniz Association. ZEW's applied research aims to study and help design well-performing markets and institutions in Europe. In particular, it seeks to understand how to create a market framework that will enable the sustainable and efficient development of European economies.
Contact: Professor Sebastian Rausch
The Centre for Energy Policy and Economics (CEPE) was established in 1999 to complement the natural science and technical-oriented disciplines at ETH Zurich, by contributing to research and teaching in energy policy and economics. Through rigorous application of modern empirical methods, the goal of CEPE is to make critical contributions to the design and evaluation of energy and climate policy instruments.
Contact: Professor Massimo Filippini
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