Model for Assessment of the Effect of Environmental Taxes on Environmental Protection in Selected Countries
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The article analyses the effect of environmental taxes on environmental protection. Studies dealing with environmental taxation have been increasing in scope recently. Nonetheless, studies related to the effect of environmental taxes on environmental protection, in particular, works comparing results of different countries are fairly uncommon. Following identification of the factors as part of this study, the study further deals with determination and assessment of the effect of environmental taxes on key quantitative indicators of environmental protection. The model for assessment of the effect of environmental taxes on environmental protection has been developed. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) as equivalent of carbon dioxide (CO2) have been chosen as a dependent variable in assessment of environmental taxes. The following independent variables have been chosen on the basis of the scientific literature and available statistical information: average GDP per capita; investments into environmental protection; share of environmental tax revenue in total tax revenues; population density; annual GDP growth rate, and annual industrial production sales growth rate. To provide higher level of objectivity to the research results, the following European countries have been chosen for comparison to Lithuania: Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Estonia, and Latvia. Quantitative analysis has been conducted using information for years 1999-2013 by the method of correlation and regression analysis using the following assessment indicators: adjusted coefficient of determination (R-squared), p-value, Durbin-Watson criterion, Anova p value, Regressions and Residuals, and Studentized R2. The study has shown that environmental taxes are highly significant and have considerable influence on reduction of environmental pollution indicators both in Lithuania and in certain other European countries, as where the model has been applied as an effective model, economic growth and environmental taxes have been found to have the greatest effect on variation in GHG amount. Meanwhile, for other European countries, the greatest effect on environmental pollution indicators comes from the GDP per capita (Latvia, Estonia, and Norway), investments into environmental protection (Norway), and population density (Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden). Lithuania’s national pollution index follows the same trend as in Latvia and Estonia, while the national pollution index of other European countries shows the opposite trend than that of the Baltic States, indicating increase of the pollution level in the Baltic States.