Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 441–462

What Does it Take to Sell Environmental Policy? An Empirical Analysis of Referendum Data


DOI: 10.1007/s10640-005-4993-y

Cite this article as:
Halbheer, D., Niggli, S. & Schmutzler, A. Environ Resource Econ (2006) 33: 441. doi:10.1007/s10640-005-4993-y


We analyze the factors that influence the support for environmental policy proposals. Swiss referendum data show that proposals obtain more yes-votes if they do not restrict consumption possibilities directly, if they are endorsed by the largest business association, if environmental preferences are strong and economic conditions are favorable at the time of the referendum. Also, there are more pro-environmental votes in cantons with higher population density. On the other hand, yes-votes do not seem to depend on whether a proposal involves a tax or not.


direct democracyenvironmental policypublic choicereferendum

JEL Classification


Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Halbheer
    • 1
  • Sarah Niggli
    • 1
  • Armin Schmutzler
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Socioeconomic InstituteUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.CEPRLondonUK
  3. 3.ENCORE, University of AmsterdamNetherlands