Handbook of Research on Environmental Taxation
Show Less

Handbook of Research on Environmental Taxation

Edited by Janet E. Milne and Mikael S. Andersen

The Handbook of Research on Environmental Taxation captures the state of the art of research on environmental taxation. Written by 36 specialists in environmental taxation from 16 countries, it takes an interdisciplinary and international approach, focusing on issues that are universal to using taxation to achieve environmental goals.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 26: The future agenda for environmental taxation research

Mikael Skou Andersen and Janet E. Milne


Nearly a century has passed since the idea of introducing taxes with a tax base related to emissions and other environmental burdens was first proposed by Pigou (1920). There was for several decades a disinclination for his innovative idea, widely perceived as impractical. It remained a footnote in economics textbooks for a long time and Ronald Coase (1960, 1988) even developed a formal theorem to explain why the idea would not be appropriate. Still, several economists, particularly of US origin, began from about 1960 to explore theoretically the principles of environmental taxation. With challenges of industrialization and increases in the associated pollution and material flows gaining momentum in the aftermath of World War II, the idea also attracted more serious attention among decision-makers. In France new framework water legislation, Loi sur l’eau, was presented in 1959, and it included the introduction of effluent charges to raise funding for pollution abatement purposes (Barraqué 2000). When it was finally implemented in 1971, similar systems of effluent charges on water pollution were also agreed on and adopted in the Netherlands (1971) and Germany (agreed on in 1971 and implemented beginning in 1976). It appears that local Dutch water boards, with prerogatives for taxing water users, had individually pioneered effluent charges starting in the 1950s, hence their being the first to implement the idea in practice. In the beginning, introduction of effluent charges was a pragmatic approach to settling the costs of abatement and overcoming political inertia (Kneese and Bower 1968).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.