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Mass media, information and demand for environmental quality: Evidence from the “Under the Dome”

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  • Tu, Meng
  • Zhang, Bing
  • Xu, Jianhua
  • Lu, Fangwen

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of mass media on public willingness to pay (WTP) for better environmental quality. We exploit the exogenous shock of the environmental documentary “Under the Dome” with a regression discontinuity design by using its release as the assignment and the number of days away from the release date as the running variable. Using longitudinal survey data collected in Nanjing, China, we find that “Under the Dome” increases people’s WTP for better air quality by 24.9%, which is equivalent to an increment of CNY 1226 per capita. Further analysis reveals that mass media affect people’s WTP by increasing their awareness of environmental pollution and level of risk perception. Our results also suggest that the documentary has a long-term effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Tu, Meng & Zhang, Bing & Xu, Jianhua & Lu, Fangwen, 2020. "Mass media, information and demand for environmental quality: Evidence from the “Under the Dome”," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:143:y:2020:i:c:s0304387818315827
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2019.102402
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Panle Jia Barwick & Shanjun Li & Liguo Lin & Eric Zou, 2019. "From Fog to Smog: the Value of Pollution Information," NBER Working Papers 26541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mass media; Willingness-to-pay; Air pollution; Risk perception; Under the dome;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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