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Emissions inequality: Disparities in income, expenditure, and the carbon footprint in Austria
Ecological Economics  (IF6.536),  Pub Date : 2022-04-29, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107435
Hendrik Theine, Stefan Humer, Mathias Moser, Matthias Schnetzer

The social consequences of carbon taxation are closely related to the income and expenditure patterns of private households. This paper combines the national Household Budget Survey with EXIOBASE3 emissions data to analyse the distribution of the carbon footprint and differences in the exposure to carbon taxation in Austria. The results indicate a strong variation in greenhouse gas (CO2e) emissions along the income distribution, with the top income decile emitting 4.1 times more than the bottom income decile. We distinguish between local, EU-based, and rest-of-the-world (RoW) emissions and study how various approaches to CO2e taxation would affect households with different incomes. Finally, we compare the implications of taxing direct domestic emissions only versus taxing the carbon footprint and find socio-demographic factors that explain why some households have higher tax-to-income ratios. Socially balanced carbon mitigation policies should focus on these emitters as they might be particularly exposed to CO2e taxation.