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Voluntary Provision of Public Goods for Bads: A Theory of Environmental Offsets

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  • Matthew J. Kotchen

Abstract

This article examines voluntary provision of a public good that is motivated, in part, to compensate for activities that diminish the public good. Markets for environmental offsets, such as those that promote carbon neutrality, provide an increasingly salient example. An important result is that mean donations do not converge to zero as the economy grows large. The equilibrium is solved to show how direct donations and net contributions depend on wealth and heterogeneous preferences. Comparative static analysis demonstrates how public good provision and social welfare depend on the technology, individual wealth and an initial level of the public good. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 119 (2009)
Issue (Month): 537 (04)
Pages: 883-899

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:537:p:883-899

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  1. Matthew Kotchen & Michael Moore, 2007. "Conservation: From Voluntary Restraint to a Voluntary Price Premium," NBER Working Papers 13678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kotchen, Matthew J., 2005. "Impure public goods and the comparative statics of environmentally friendly consumption," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 281-300, March.
  3. Hollander, Heinz, 1990. "A Social Exchange Approach to Voluntary Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1157-67, December.
  4. Cornes, Richard & Sandler, Todd, 1984. "Easy Riders, Joint Production, and Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(375), pages 580-98, September.
  5. Harbaugh, William T., 1998. "What do donations buy?: A model of philanthropy based on prestige and warm glow," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 269-284, February.
  6. Cornes, Richard & Sandler, Todd, 1994. "The comparative static properties of the impure public good model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 403-421, July.
  7. Matthew J. Kotchen, 2006. "Green Markets and Private Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 816-845, August.
  8. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  9. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Privately provided public goods in a large economy: The limits of altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 57-73, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Tom DEDEURWAERDERE & Paolo MELINDI GHIDI, 2013. "Voluntary Pooled Public Knowledge Goods and Coalition Formation," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  2. Massimiliano Corradini & Valeria Costantini & Susanna Mancinelli & Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2011. "Environmental and innovation performance in a dynamic impure public good framework," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0141, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
  3. Andreas Lange & Andreas Ziegler, 2012. "Offsetting versus Mitigation Activities to Reduce CO2 Emissions: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis for the U.S. and Germany," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 12/161, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  4. Wolfgang Buchholz & Richard Cornes & Dirk T. G. Rübbelke, 2009. "Existence and Warr Neutrality for Matching Equilibria in a Public Good Economy: An Aggregative Game Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 2884, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Huhtala, Anni, 2010. "Income effects and the inconvenience of private provision of public goods for bads: The case of recycling in Finland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1675-1681, June.
  6. Grischa Perino, 2013. "Private provision of public goods in a second-best workd: Cap-and-trade schemes limit green consumerism," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 13-01, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  7. Jacobsen, Grant D. & Kotchen, Matthew J. & Vandenbergh, Michael P., 2012. "The behavioral response to voluntary provision of an environmental public good: Evidence from residential electricity demand," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 946-960.
  8. Buchholz, Wolfgang & Cornes, Richard & Rübbelke, Dirk, 2011. "Interior matching equilibria in a public good economy: An aggregative game approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 639-645.
  9. Marc N. Conte & Matthew J. Kotchen, 2010. "Explaining The Price Of Voluntary Carbon Offsets," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(02), pages 93-111.
  10. Jacobsen, Grant D., 2011. "The Al Gore effect: An Inconvenient Truth and voluntary carbon offsets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 67-78, January.
  11. Diederich, Johannees & Goeschl, Timo, 2014. "Motivational Drivers of the Private Provision of Public Goods: Evidence From a Large Framed Field Experiment," Working Papers 0561, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  12. Johannes Diederich & Timo Goeschl, 2014. "Willingness to Pay for Voluntary Climate Action and Its Determinants: Field-Experimental Evidence," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(3), pages 405-429, March.
  13. Timo Goeschl & Grischa Perino, 2009. "Instrment choice and motivation: Evidence from a climate change experiment," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 09-05, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  14. Tiefenbeck, Verena & Staake, Thorsten & Roth, Kurt & Sachs, Olga, 2013. "For better or for worse? Empirical evidence of moral licensing in a behavioral energy conservation campaign," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 160-171.
  15. Moore, Michael R. & Lewis, Geoffrey McD. & Cepela, Daniel J., 2010. "Markets for renewable energy and pollution emissions: Environmental claims, emission-reduction accounting, and product decoupling," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 5956-5966, October.
  16. Owen, Ann L. & Videras, Julio & Wu, Stephen, 2008. "More information isn’t always better: the case of voluntary provision of environmental quality," MPRA Paper 11588, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Diederich, Johannes & Goeschl, Timo, 2011. "Giving in a Large Economy: Price vs. Non-Price Effects in a Field Experiment," Working Papers 0514, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.

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