Are acceptance, support, and the factors that affect them, different? Examining perceptions of U.S. fuel economy standards

Stacia Dreyer, Mario F. Teisl, Shannon K. McCoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the acceptance of and support for transportation policies focused on the environment, such fuel economy standards, is important because of the positive impact policies can have on the environment and overall sustainability goals. This study investigates the acceptance of and support for fuel economy standards through an online survey of Maine residents. Specifically, we assess the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which aim to increase fuel economy of vehicles, while decreasing greenhouses gas emissions and foreign fuel dependence in the United States. We assess how perceptions of the policy and economic views of the market affect acceptance and support. We differentiate acceptance and support on two dimensions, a temporal and attitudinal-behavioral dimension. In doing so, we improve upon traditional measures of these variables and provide evidence that acceptance and support are distinct constructs. We find that perceived fairness, perceived effectiveness, and a subscription to a free-market ideology play a role in acceptance and support. The implications of the findings are discussed in relation to survey methods, policy communications, and an interdisciplinary understanding of environmental policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Volume39
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Fuel economy
acceptance
economy
Gas emissions
Greenhouse gases
transportation policy
communication policy
Sustainable development
market
survey method
subscription
online survey
ideology
environmental policy
fairness
Economics
Communication
greenhouse gas
sustainability
communication

Keywords

  • Emissions reduction
  • Environmental policy
  • Free-market ideology
  • Social justice
  • Surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Understanding the acceptance of and support for transportation policies focused on the environment, such fuel economy standards, is important because of the positive impact policies can have on the environment and overall sustainability goals. This study investigates the acceptance of and support for fuel economy standards through an online survey of Maine residents. Specifically, we assess the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which aim to increase fuel economy of vehicles, while decreasing greenhouses gas emissions and foreign fuel dependence in the United States. We assess how perceptions of the policy and economic views of the market affect acceptance and support. We differentiate acceptance and support on two dimensions, a temporal and attitudinal-behavioral dimension. In doing so, we improve upon traditional measures of these variables and provide evidence that acceptance and support are distinct constructs. We find that perceived fairness, perceived effectiveness, and a subscription to a free-market ideology play a role in acceptance and support. The implications of the findings are discussed in relation to survey methods, policy communications, and an interdisciplinary understanding of environmental policy.",
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