IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/deveco/v87y2008i1p14-28.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The importance of being informed: Experimental evidence on demand for environmental quality

Author

Listed:
  • Jalan, Jyotsna
  • Somanathan, E.

Abstract

To what extent does information affect the demand for environmental quality? A randomly selected group of households in an Indian city were informed whether or not their drinking water had tested positive for fecal contamination using a simple, inexpensive test kit. Households initially not purifying their water and told that their drinking water was possibly contaminated, were 11 percentage points more likely to begin some form of home purification in the next eight weeks than households that received no information. They spent $7.24 (at PPP) more on purification than control households. By way of comparison, an additional year of schooling of the most educated male in the household is associated with a 3 percentage-point rise in the probability of initial purification, while a standard-deviation increase in the wealth index is associated with a 12 percentage-point rise in this probability and an $11.75 rise in expenditure. Initially purifying households that received a "no contamination" result did not react by reducing purification. These results suggest that estimates of the demand for environment quality that assume full information may significantly under-estimate it.

Suggested Citation

  • Jalan, Jyotsna & Somanathan, E., 2008. "The importance of being informed: Experimental evidence on demand for environmental quality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 14-28, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:87:y:2008:i:1:p:14-28
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304-3878(07)00086-7
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Simone Borghesi, 1999. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: a Survey of the Literature," Working Papers 1999.85, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Dasgupta, Purnamita, 2004. "Valuing health damages from water pollution in urban Delhi, India: a health production function approach," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 83-106, February.
    3. Jyotsna Jalan & E. Somanathan & Saraswata Choudhuri, "undated". "Awareness and the Demand for Environmental Quality: Drinking Water in Urban India," Working papers 32, The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics.
    4. Charles W. Abdalla & Brian A. Roach & Donald J. Epp, 1992. "Valuing Environmental Quality Changes Using Averting Expenditures: An Application to Groundwater Contamination," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(2), pages 163-169.
    5. Harrington, Winston & Krupnick, Alan J. & Spofford, Walter Jr., 1989. "The economic losses of a waterborne disease outbreak," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 116-137, January.
    6. Madajewicz, Malgosia & Pfaff, Alexander & van Geen, Alexander & Graziano, Joseph & Hussein, Iftikhar & Momotaj, Hasina & Sylvi, Roksana & Ahsan, Habibul, 2007. "Can information alone change behavior? Response to arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 731-754, November.
    7. Smith, V Kerry & Desvousges, William H & Payne, John W, 1995. "Do Risk Information Programs Promote Mitigating Behavior?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 203-221, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:87:y:2008:i:1:p:14-28. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.