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Private Provision of Environmental Public Goods: Household Participation in Green-Electricity Programs

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Abstract

Green-electricity programs provide an opportunity to study private provision of public goods in a field setting. The first part of this paper develops a theoretical framework to analyze household decisions about voluntary participation in green-electricity programs. We consider different participation mechanisms and show how they relate to existing theory on either pure or impure public goods. The models are used to examine the implications of participation mechanisms for the level of public-good provision. The second part of the paper provides an empirical investigation of actual participation decisions in two green- electricity programs: one based on a pure public good and the other based on an impure public good. The data come from original household surveys of participants and nonparticipants in both programs, along with utility data on household electricity consumption. The econometric results are interpreted in the context of the theoretical models and are compared to other studies of privately provided public goods.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2004-07.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, January 2007, v. 53, iss. 1, pp. 1-16.
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2004-07

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Keywords: Pure and impure public goods; private provision; green electricity;

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References

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  1. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Robert G. Ethier & Gregory L. Poe & William D. Schulze & Jeremy Clark, 2000. "Comparison of Hypothetical Phone and Mail Contingent Valuation Responses for Green-Pricing Electricity Programs," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(1), pages 54-67.
  4. John List, 2004. "Young, selfish, and male: Field evidence of social preferences," Natural Field Experiments 00298, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. Patricia Champ & Richard Bishop, 2001. "Donation Payment Mechanisms and Contingent Valuation: An Empirical Study of Hypothetical Bias," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(4), pages 383-402, August.
  6. Rose, Steven K. & Clark, Jeremy & Poe, Gregory L. & Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D., 1999. "The Private Provision of Public Goods: Tests of a Provision Point Mechanism for Funding Green Power Programs," Working Papers 127699, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  7. Smith, Vincent H. & Kehoe, Michael R. & Cremer, Mary E., 1995. "The private provision of public goods: Altruism and voluntary giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 107-126, September.
  8. 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.
  9. Catherine Eckel & Philip Grossman, 2000. "Volunteers and Pseudo-Volunteers: The Effect of Recruitment Method in Dictator Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 107-120, October.
  10. Kotchen, Matthew J. & Reiling, Stephen D., 2000. "Environmental attitudes, motivations, and contingent valuation of nonuse values: a case study involving endangered species," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 93-107, January.
  11. 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.
  12. Cornes, Richard & Sandler, Todd, 1984. "Easy Riders, Joint Production, and Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(375), pages 580-98, September.
  13. 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.
  14. Roe, Brian & Teisl, Mario F. & Levy, Alan & Russell, Matthew, 2001. "US consumers' willingness to pay for green electricity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 917-925, September.
  15. Matthew J. Kotchen & Michael R. Moore, 2004. "Conservation Behavior: From Voluntary Restraint to a Voluntary Price Premium," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-16, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  16. Murdoch, James C. & Sandler, Todd & Vijverberg, Wim P. M., 2003. "The participation decision versus the level of participation in an environmental treaty: a spatial probit analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 337-362, February.
  17. Clotfelter, C. T., 2003. "Alumni giving to elite private colleges and universities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 109-120, April.
  18. Cooper, Philip & Poe, Gregory L. & Bateman, Ian J., 2004. "The structure of motivation for contingent values: a case study of lake water quality improvement," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 69-82, September.
  19. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  20. Kingma, Bruce Robert, 1989. "An Accurate Measurement of the Crowd-Out Effect, Income Effect, and Price Effect for Charitable Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1197-1207, October.
  21. Matthew J. Kotchen, 2003. "Green Markets and Private Provision of Public Goods," Department of Economics Working Papers 2003-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  22. 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.
  23. Gregory Poe & Jeremy Clark & Daniel Rondeau & William Schulze, 2002. "Provision Point Mechanisms and Field Validity Tests of Contingent Valuation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 105-131, September.
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