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Conservation: From Voluntary Restraint to a Voluntary Price Premium

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  • Matthew Kotchen
  • Michael Moore

Abstract

This paper investigates how concern for the environment translates into predictable patterns of consumer behavior. Two types of behavior are considered. First, individuals who care about environmental quality may voluntarily restrain their consumption of goods and services that generate a negative externality. Second, individuals may choose to pay a price premium for goods and services that are more environmentally benign. A theoretical model identifies a symmetry between such voluntary restraint and a voluntary price premium that mirrors the symmetry between environmental policies based on either quantities (quotas) or prices (taxes). We test predictions of the model in an empirical study of household electricity consumption with introduction of a price-premium, green-electricity program. We find evidence of voluntary restraint and its relation to a voluntary price premium. The empirical results are consistent with the theoretical model of voluntary conservation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13678.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
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Publication status: published as Matthew Kotchen & Michael Moore, 2008. "Conservation: From Voluntary Restraint to a Voluntary Price Premium," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(2), pages 195-215, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13678

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  1. Matthew J. Kotchen & Michael R. Moore, 2004. "Private Provision of Environmental Public Goods: Household Participation in Green-Electricity Programs," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-07, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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  3. Rose, Steven K. & Clark, Jeremy & Poe, Gregory L. & Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D., 2002. "The private provision of public goods: tests of a provision point mechanism for funding green power programs," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 131-155, February.
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  9. 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.
  10. Andrew A. Goett & Kathleen Hudson & Kenneth E. Train, 2000. "Customers' Choice Among Retail Energy Suppliers: The Willingness-to-Pay for Service Attributes," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 1-28.
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  13. Hollander, Heinz, 1990. "A Social Exchange Approach to Voluntary Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1157-67, December.
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  16. Albert Yin-Po Lee, 1981. "Voluntary Conservation and Electricity Peak Demand: A Case Study of the Modesto Irrigation District," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 57(3), pages 436-447.
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  1. Derek Jeter's Carbon Footprint
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2011-02-27 21:12:00
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Marco Salvi & Juerg Syz, 2011. "What drives “green housing” construction? Evidence from Switzerland," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(1), pages 86-102, February.
  3. Matthew J. Holian & Matthew E. Kahn, 2014. "Household Demand for Low Carbon Public Policies: Evidence from California," NBER Working Papers 19965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. repec:hhs:slucer:2014_008 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. repec:hhs:slucer:2014_007 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Julia Blasch & Mehdi Farsi, 2012. "Retail demand for voluntary carbon offsets - A choice experiment among Swiss consumers," IED Working paper 12-18, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  7. Karine Constant & Marion Davin, 2014. "Environmental Policy and Growth in a Model with Endogenous Environmental Awareness," AMSE Working Papers 1405, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised Mar 2014.
  8. Kiran Krishnamurthy, Chandra & Kriström, Bengt, 2013. "Determinants of the price-premium for Green Energy: Evidence from an OECD cross-section," CERE Working Papers 2013:7, CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics, revised 30 Jun 2014.
  9. Felix Ebeling, 2013. "Non-binding Defaults and Voluntary Contributions to a Public Good - Clean Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," Working Paper Series in Economics 66, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  10. Matthew J. Kotchen, 2009. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods for Bads: A Theory of Environmental Offsets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 883-899, 04.
  11. Jamilah Ahmad & Imran Ali & Georgiana Florentina Grigore & Alin Stancu, 2012. "Studying Consumers’ Ecological Consciousness – A Comparative Analysis of Romania, Malaysia and Pakistan," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 14(31), pages 84-98, February.
  12. Kiran Krishnamurthy, Chandra & Kriström, Bengt, 2013. "How large is the Owner-Renter Divide? Evidence from an OECD cross-section," CERE Working Papers 2013:8, CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics.
  13. Dastrup, Samuel R. & Graff Zivin, Joshua & Costa, Dora L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2012. "Understanding the Solar Home price premium: Electricity generation and “Green” social status," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 961-973.
  14. Grant Jacobsen & Matthew Kotchen & Greg Clendenning, 2013. "Community-based incentives for environmental protection: the case of green electricity," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 30-52, August.
  15. 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.

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