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Retail demand for voluntary carbon offsets - A choice experiment among Swiss consumers

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Abstract

Using a choice experiment conducted among more than a thousand Swiss consumers, we analyze the individual demand for voluntary carbon offsets in different contexts. The analysis is used to identify the consumers’ underlying motives for offsetting emissions, the context effects on their willingness to pay and the influence of the offsetting project characteristics on their propensity for contribution. Furthermore, the characteristics of potential buyers as well as the possibilities of behavioral rebound are explored. To support our results, we assess whether the hypothetical preferences are consistent with the revealed behavior. The adopted latent class model accounts for heterogeneity of preferences with respect to offset products offered in the market. The results provide a quantitative assessment of consumers’ marginal valuation of carbon offsets and a better understanding of individual preferences. The results also point to strong heterogeneity among individuals favoring targeted policy measures to induce voluntary contribution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich in its series IED Working paper with number 12-18.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ied:wpsied:12-18

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Keywords: Voluntary carbon offsets; Willingness to pay; Choice experiment; Latent class model;

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Cited by:
  1. Löschel, Andreas & Sturm, Bodo & Uehleke, Reinhard, 2013. "Revealed preferences for climate protection when the purely individual perspective is relaxed: Evidence from a framed field experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-006, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Michele Baggio, 2012. "The Optimal Management of a Natural Resource with Switching Dynamics," IED Working paper 12-19, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.

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