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Environmental Policy when People's Preferences are Inconsistent, Non-Welfaristic, or simply Not Developed

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Author Info

  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof

    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

This paper discusses how a benevolent policy maker should act based on some, possibly non-welfaristic,ethical principle in cases where people's preferences are not perfectly informed,consistent and fully developed with regard to all goods, including all kinds of environmental goods, as is normally assumed in mainstream economic theory. When stated or revealed preferences do not reflect the maximization of individual welfare, it is argued that welfare,rather than preferences, has intrinsic value. However, it is also argued that properly designed stated preference methods may provide useful information about people’s views about alternative ethical ends, besides human well-being, and that policy makers should take such views seriously.

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File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/gunwpe/papers/gunwpe0034.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 34.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 28 Feb 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0034

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Related research

Keywords: ethics; environmental policy; environmental valuation; cost-benefit analysis; endogenous preferences; preference construction; irrationality; bounded rationality; cognitive dissonance; anthropocentrism;

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References

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  3. Thomas H. Stevens & Jaime Echeverria & Ronald J. Glass & Tim Hager & Thomas A. More, 1991. "Measuring the Existence Value of Wildlife: What Do CVM Estimates Really Show?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 67(4), pages 390-400.
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  22. Broome,John, 1999. "Ethics out of Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521644914.
  23. Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 385-409, June.
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  25. Yew-Kwang Ng, 1999. "Utility, informed preference, or happiness: Following Harsanyi's argument to its logical conclusion," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 197-216.
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Cited by:
  1. Elisabeth Gsottbauer & Jeroen Bergh, 2011. "Environmental Policy Theory Given Bounded Rationality and Other-regarding Preferences," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(2), pages 263-304, June.

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