Policy-Instrument Choice and Benefit Estimates for Climate-Change Policy in the United States
AbstractThis paper provides the first willingness-to-pay (WTP) estimates in support of a national climate-change policy that are comparable with the costs of actual legislative efforts in the U.S. Congress. Based on a survey of 2,034 American adults, we find that households are, on average, willing to pay between $79 and $89 per year in support of reducing domestic greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions 17 percent by 2020. Even very conservative estimates yield an average WTP at or above $60 per year. Taking advantage of randomized treatments within the survey valuation question, we find that mean WTP does not vary substantially among the policy instruments of a cap-and-trade program, a carbon tax, or a GHG regulation. But there are differences in the sociodemographic characteristics of those willing to pay across policy instruments. Greater education always increases WTP. Older individuals have a lower WTP for a carbon tax and a GHG regulation, while greater household income increases WTP for these same two policy instruments. Republicans, along with those indicating no political party affiliation, have a significantly lower WTP regardless of the policy instrument. But many of these differences are no longer evident after controlling for respondent opinions about whether global warming is actually happening.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17539.
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Kotchen, M., K. Boyle, and A. Leiserowitz, “Policy-Instrument Choice and Benefit Estimates for Climate-Change Policy in the United States,” Energy Policy, forthcoming.
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
- Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
- Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-11-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2011-11-07 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2011-11-07 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-REG-2011-11-07 (Regulation)
- NEP-RES-2011-11-07 (Resource Economics)
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- Richard T. Carson & W. Michael Hanemann & Raymond J. Kopp & Jon A. Krosnick & Robert Cameron Mitchell & Stanley Presser, 1998. "Referendum Design and Contingent Valuation: The NOAA Panel's No-Vote Recommendation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 335-338, May.
- Richard T. Carson & W. Michael Hanemann & Raymond J. Kopp & Jon A. Krosnick & Robert Cameron Mitchell & Stanley Presser, 1998. "Referendum Design And Contingent Valuation: The Noaa Panel'S No-Vote Recommendation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 484-487, August.
- Kopp, Raymond & Smith, V. Kerry & Mitchell, Robert & Presser, Stanley & Ruud, Paul & Hanemann, W. Michael & Krosnick, Jon & Carson, Richard, 1995. "Referendum Design and Contingent Valuation: The NOAA Panel's No-Vote Recommendation," Discussion Papers dp-96-05, Resources For the Future.
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