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Article

Models Explaining the Levels of Forest Environmental Taxes and Other PES Schemes in Japan

1
School of Environmental Science, University of Shiga Prefecture, Shiga 522-8533, Japan
2
Faculty of Economics and Research Center for Sustainability and Environment, Shiga University, Hikone, Shiga 522-8522, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anne Stenger
Forests 2021, 12(6), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12060685
Received: 19 March 2021 / Revised: 18 May 2021 / Accepted: 25 May 2021 / Published: 27 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methods and Models to Assess Forest Ecosystem Services)
Between 2003 and April 2016, 37 of 47 prefectures (i.e., sub-national local governmental units) introduced forest environmental taxes—local payment for environmental services (PES) schemes. These introductions are unique historical natural experiments, in which local governments made their own political decisions considering multiple factors. This study empirically evaluates models that explain normalized expenditures from forest environmental taxes as well as other PES schemes (subsidies for enhancing forests’ and mountain villages’ multifunction, and green donation) and traditional forestry budgets for Japan’s 47 prefectures based on the median voter model. Results demonstrate that the median voter model can particularly explain forest environmental taxes and forestry budgets. Specifically, the past incidence of droughts and landslides is positively correlated with the levels of forest environmental taxes. The higher the number of municipalities in a prefecture, the lower the amount of forest environmental tax spent on forests. Moreover, the number of forest volunteering groups, possibly an indicator of social capital in the forest sectors, had strong positive correlations with the levels of forest environmental taxes and forestry budgets. Other PES schemes and forestry budgets had unique patterns of correlations with the examined factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: PES; politics; local governments; public finance PES; politics; local governments; public finance
MDPI and ACS Style

Takahashi, T.; Tanaka, K. Models Explaining the Levels of Forest Environmental Taxes and Other PES Schemes in Japan. Forests 2021, 12, 685. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12060685

AMA Style

Takahashi T, Tanaka K. Models Explaining the Levels of Forest Environmental Taxes and Other PES Schemes in Japan. Forests. 2021; 12(6):685. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12060685

Chicago/Turabian Style

Takahashi, Takuya, and Katsuya Tanaka. 2021. "Models Explaining the Levels of Forest Environmental Taxes and Other PES Schemes in Japan" Forests 12, no. 6: 685. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12060685

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