Have climate policies been effective in Austria? A reverse causal analysis

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

219 Downloads (Pure)


Around the world, countries are becoming more ambitious in their emission reduction pledges. Developing policies to actually meet these targets requirescarefully evaluating which policies have been most effective at reducing emissions to date. We use reverse causal policy evaluation to answer this question, asking, “Which climate policies have reduced CO2 emissions the most in Austria since 1995?” This novel approach allows us to identify negative structural breaks, i.e. large reductions in emissions that are not accounted for by the main determinants of CO2 emissions (population and economic growth), and attribute these breaks to relevant policies. We find statistically significant breaks in only four out of 21 sectors, altogether representing a reduction of less than 2.5% of Austria’s total CO2 emissions beyond what would have been expected, given its socio-economic development, which is significantly shy of the country’s 48% emission reduction target.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherWU Vienna University of Economics and Business
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Publication series

SeriesDepartment of Economics Working Paper Series

WU Working Paper Series

  • Department of Economics Working Paper Series


  • CO2 emissions
  • climate policy
  • reverse causal analysis
  • Austria
  • structural breaks

Cite this