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Doctoral thesis, 2016

Essays on economic policy on food consumption

Säll, Sarah


This thesis consists of four papers investigating the use of taxes on food consumption. The aim is providing policy information concerning what to eat from an environmental and health perspective. In Paper I the environmental damage costs of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and nutrient loads into the Baltic Sea from Swedish production of meat and dairy products are calculated. Costs are introduced as consumption taxes followed by estimations on the response in consumer demand and possible pollutant reduction levels. In Paper II, the distributional effects of the tax levels on Swedish produced meat, found in Paper I, are calculated for Swedish households. The incidence of taxes is calculated as the willingness to accept as compensation for taxes to be introduced, related to the households' total income and expenditure levels. The horizon is broadened in Paper III where consumption taxes on meat and dairy products in the whole of EU 27 are investigated. Three tax levels are introduced and by the use of the CAPRI model, changes in demand, supply, GHG emissions and welfare effects are estimated. In the last paper, Paper IV, most food commodities consumed in Sweden are included in a system of demand elasticities. The aim is to construct an economic incentive scheme to encourage the Swedish population to consume less meat and dairy products and increase consumption of fruit and vegetables. Reaching these consumption targets would not only reduce emission levels as was investigated in Paper I, but also improve public health. In Papers I, II and IV Marshallian, Hicksian and Income elasticities were estimated using the AIDS model. The overall results show that demand of food is in general inelastic, which implies that taxes have limited effects on demand and on pollutant levels.


Environmental Taxes; Climate Change; Eutrophication; Meat and Dairy consumption; Distribution; Eating Healthy

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2016, number: 2016:62
ISBN: 978-91-576-8626-8, eISBN: 978-91-576-8627-5
Publisher: Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics

UKÄ Subject classification


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