Social Justice Research

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 66–84 | Cite as

When Are Transport Pricing Policies Fair and Acceptable?

  • Geertje Schuitema
  • Linda Steg
  • Monique van Kruining
Article

Abstract

This study examines the relative importance of six policy outcomes related to different fairness principles for the perceived fairness and acceptability of pricing policies aimed at changing transport behaviour. The fairness and acceptability of six different types of transport pricing policies were systematically higher if policy outcomes were related to environmental justice and equality. The policy measures were evaluated as more acceptable and fair when respondents believed that future generations, nature and the environment were protected (reflecting environmental justice), and to a lesser extent, when everybody was equally affected by the policy outcomes (reflecting equality), irrespective of absolute differences in fairness and acceptability of the policies. Policy outcomes reflecting egoistic concerns (e.g. being financially worse off and being worse off than others) and equity (e.g. proportional to people’s income and contribution to problems) were related to the fairness and acceptability of some policy measures, but no systematic pattern was found across six policy measures. This suggests that policy outcomes related to distributions that focus on collective considerations appear to be more important for the fairness and acceptability of transport pricing policies than those focusing on individual interests. Theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.

Keywords

Acceptability Fairness Fairness principles Policies Transport 

References

  1. Adams, J. S. (1965). Inequity in social exchange. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (10th ed., pp. 267–299). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, W., & Patterson, M. (2008). Effects of social value orientations on fairness judgments. The Journal of Social Psychology, 148, 223–245.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bamberg, S., & Rölle, D. (2003). Determinants of people’s acceptability of pricing measures: Replication and extension of a causal model. In J. Schade & B. Schlag (Eds.), Acceptability of transport pricing strategies (pp. 235–248). Oxford: Elsevier Science.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bazerman, M. H., Loewenstein, G. F., & White, S. B. (1992). Reversals of preference in allocation decisions: Judging an alternative versus choosing among alternatives. Administrative Science Quarterly, 37, 220–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bazerman, M. H., White, S. B., & Lowenstein, G. F. (1995). Perceptions of fairness in interpersonal and individual choice situations. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 4, 39–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bethwaite, J., & Tompkinson, P. (1996). The ultimatum game and non-selfish utility functions. Journal of Economic Psychology, 17, 259–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bullard, R. D. (1994). Grassroots flowering the environmental justice movements comes of age. Amicus, 16, 32–37.Google Scholar
  8. Bullard, R. D., & Johnson, G. S. (2000). Environmental justice: Grassroots activism and its impacts on public policy decision making. Journal of Social Issues, 56, 555–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Button, K. (1993). Transport economics. Aldershot: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  10. Clayton, S. (2000). Models of justice in the environmental debate. Journal of Social Issues, 56, 459–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cvetkovich, G., & Earle, T. C. (1994). The construction of justice: A case study of public participation in land management. Journal of Social Issues, 50, 161–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. De Groot, J. I. M., & Steg, L. (2008). Value orientations to explain environmental attitudes and beliefs: How to measure egoistic, altruistic and biospheric value orientations. Environment & Behavior, 40, 330–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. De Groot, J. I. M., & Steg, L. (2009). Morality and prosocial behavior: The role of awareness, responsibility, and norms in the Norm Activation Model. The Journal of Social Psychology, 149, 425–449.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Deutsch, M. (1975). Equity, equality, and need: What determines which value will be used as the bases of distributive justice? Journal of Social Issues, 31, 137–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Deutsch, M. (1985). Distributive justice. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Diekmann, K. A. (1997). ‘Implicit justifications’ and self-serving group allocations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 18, 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Diekmann, K. A., Samuels, S. M., Ross, L., & Bazerman, M. H. (1997). Self-interest and fairness in problems of resource allocation: Allocators versus recipients. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 1061–1074.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dutch Ministry of Transport. (2007). Making a start on a price per kilometre. Overview of preparatory research for the government decision on a price per kilometre. The Hague: Dutch Ministry of Transport.Google Scholar
  19. Eek, D., Biel, A., & Gärling, T. (1998). The effect of distributive justice on willingness to pay for municipality child care: An extension of the GEF hypothesis. Social Justice Research, 11, 121–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Eek, D., Biel, A., & Gärling, T. (2001). Cooperation in asymmetric social dilemmas when equality is perceived as unfair. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31, 649–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Eriksson, L., Garvill, J., & Nordlund, A. M. (2006). Acceptability of travel demand management measures: The importance of problem awareness, personal norm, freedom, and fairness. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 26, 15–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Eriksson, L., Garvill, J., & Nordlund, A. M. (2008). Acceptability of single and combined transport policy measures: The importance of environmental and policy specific beliefs. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 42, 1117–1128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fujii, S., Gärling, T., Jakobsson, J., & Jou, R. C. (2004). A cross-country study of fairness and infringement on freedom as determinants of car owners’ acceptance of road pricing. Transportation, 31, 285–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gärling, T., & Schuitema, G. (2007). Travel demand management targeting reduced private car use: Effectiveness, public acceptability and political feasibility. Journal of Social Issues, 63, 139–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Handgraaf, M. J. J., Van Dijk, E., Wilke, H. A. M., & Vermunt, R. C. (2004). Evaluability of outcomes in ultimatum bargaining. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 95, 97–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jaensirisak, S., Wardman, M., & May, A. D. (2005). Explaining variations in public acceptability of road pricing schemes. Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, 39, 127–153.Google Scholar
  27. Jakobsson, C., Fujii, S., & Gärling, T. (2000). Determinants of private car users’ acceptance of road pricing. Transport Policy, 7, 153–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kahneman, D. (1992). Reference points, anchors, norms, and mixed feelings. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 51, 296–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kahneman, D., Knetsch, J. L., & Thaler, R. H. (1986). Fairness and the assumptions of economics. The Journal of Business, 59, 285–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lerner, M. J. (2003). The justice motive: Where social psychologists found it, how they lost it, and why they may not find it again. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7, 388–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Loewenstein, G. F., Thompson, L., & Bazerman, M. H. (1989). Social utility and decision making in interpersonal contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 426–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Messick, D. M., & McClintock, C. G. (1968). Motivational basis of choice in experimental games. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 4, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Messick, D., & Schell, T. (1992). Evidence for an equality heuristic in social decision making. Acta Psychologica, 80, 311–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Messick, D. M., & Sentis, K. P. (1979). Fairness and preference. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 15, 418–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Moore, D., & Loewenstein, G. (2004). Self-interest, automatcity, and the psychology of conflict of interest. Social Justice Research, 17, 189–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nolan, J. M., Schultz, P. W., Cialdini, R. B., Goldstein, N. J., & Griskevicius, V. (2008). Normative social influence is underdetected. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 913–923.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Odeck, J., & Bråthen, S. (1997). Public attitudes towards toll roads. Transport Policy, 4, 73–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Poortinga, W., Steg, L., Vlek, C., & Wiersma, G. (2003). Household preferences for energy-saving measures: A conjoint analysis. Journal of Economic Psychology, 24, 49–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schade, J., & Schlag, B. (2003). Acceptability of urban transport pricing strategies. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 6, 45–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schuitema, G., Steg, L., & Forward, S. (2010). Explaining differences in acceptability before and acceptance after the implementation of a congestion charge in Stockholm. Transportation Research Part A, 44, 99–109.Google Scholar
  41. Schuitema, G., Steg, L., & Rothengatter, J. A. (2010). The acceptability, personal outcome expectations and expected effects of transport pricing policies. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30, 587–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schultz, P. W., Gouveia, V. V., Cameron, L. D., Tankha, G., Schmuck, P., & Franek, M. (2005). Values and their relationship to environmental concern and conservation behavior. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 36, 457–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schwartz, S. H. (1977). Normative influences on altruism. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 10). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  44. Steg, E. M. (1996). Gedragsverandering ter vermindering van het autogebruik: theoretische analyse en empirische studie over probleembesef, verminderingsbereidheid en beoordeling van beleidsmaatregelen. Groningen: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen: Faculteit der Psychologische, Sociologische en Pedagogische Wetenschappen (dissertation).Google Scholar
  45. Steg, L., Dreijerink, L., & Abrahamse, W. (2005). Factors influencing the acceptability of energy policies: A test of VBN theory. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 25, 415–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Steg, L., Dreijerink, L., & Abrahamse, W. (2006). Why are energy policies acceptable and effective? Environment and Behavior, 38, 92–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stern, P. C. (2000). Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 56, 407–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stern, P. C., & Dietz, T. (1994). The value basis of environmental concern. Journal of Social Issues, 50, 65–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tyler, T. R. (2000). Social justice: Outcome and procedure. International Journal of Psychology, 35, 117–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ubbels, B. (2006). Road pricing: Effectiveness, acceptance and institutional aspects. Amsterdam: Free University (dissertation).Google Scholar
  51. Ubbels, B., & Verhoef, E. (2007). The economics of transport pricing. In T. Gärling & L. Steg (Eds.), Threats to the quality of life from car traffic: Problems, causes, and solutions (pp. 325–345). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  52. Wade-Benzoni, K. A. (2002). A golden rule over time: Reciprocity in intergenerational allocation decisions. The Academy of Management Journal, 45, 1011–1028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wade-Benzoni, K. A., Hernandez, M., Medvec, V., & Messick, D. (2008). In fairness to future generations: The role of egocentrism, uncertainty, power, and stewardship in judgments of intergenerational allocations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 233–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wade-Benzoni, K. A., & Tost, L. P. (2009). The egoism and altruism of intergenerational behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 13, 165–193.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Walster, E., Berscheid, E., & Walster, G. W. (1973). New directions in equity research. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 25, 151–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wilke, H. A. M. (1991). Greed, efficiency and fairness in resource management situations. European Review of Social Psychology, 2, 165–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geertje Schuitema
    • 1
    • 2
  • Linda Steg
    • 1
  • Monique van Kruining
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Aarhus School of Business and Social SciencesAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

Personalised recommendations