The behavioral response to voluntary provision of an environmental public good: Evidence from residential electricity demand
This paper develops a theory of voluntary provision of a public good in which a household's decision to engage in a form of environmentally friendly behavior is based on the desire to offset another behavior that is environmentally harmful. The model generates predictions about (1) participation in a green-electricity program at the extensive and intensive margins, and (2) changes in electricity consumption in response to participation. We test the theory using billing data for participants and nonparticipants in a green-electricity program in Memphis, Tennessee. High-consumption households are more likely to participate, and they participate at higher levels. In terms of a behavioral response, households participating above the minimum threshold level do not change electricity consumption, but those participating at the minimum threshold increase electricity consumption 2.5 percent after enrolling in the program. The result is based on identification strategies that exploit before–after differences between participants and nonparticipants, and differences in the timing of enrollment among participants only. Despite the increase in electricity demand upon the purchase of green electricity for the households with a “buy-in” mentality, the net effect for the buy-in households is a reduction in pollution emissions, as the behavioral response is not large enough to offset the environmental benefit of the green-electricity purchase.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Marc N. Conte & Matthew J. Kotchen, 2009.
"Explaining the Price of Voluntary Carbon Offsets,"
NBER Working Papers
15294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Matthew J. Kotchen, 2003.
"Green Markets and Private Provision of Public Goods,"
Department of Economics Working Papers
2003-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Matthew J. Kotchen, 2006. "Green Markets and Private Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 816-845, August.
- Harbaugh, William T, 1998. "The Prestige Motive for Making Charitable Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 277-82, May.
- Rose, Steven K. & Poe, Gregory L. & Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D. & Clark, Jeremy, 1997.
"The Private Provision of Public Goods: Tests of a Provision Point Mechanism for Funding Green Power Programs,"
127850, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bruce D. Meyer, 1994.
"Natural and Quasi- Experiments in Economics,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Patricia Champ & Richard Bishop, 2001. "Donation Payment Mechanisms and Contingent Valuation: An Empirical Study of Hypothetical Bias," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(4), pages 383-402, August.
- 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.
- Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2009.
"Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving,"
NBER Working Papers
15629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 1-56.
- John List & Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for altruism and social pressure in charitable giving," Natural Field Experiments 00137, The Field Experiments Website.
- Jacobsen, Grant D., 2011. "The Al Gore effect: An Inconvenient Truth and voluntary carbon offsets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 67-78, January.
- Matthew Kotchen & Michael Moore, 2007.
"Conservation: From Voluntary Restraint to a Voluntary Price Premium,"
NBER Working Papers
13678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Matthew Kotchen & Michael Moore, 2008. "Conservation: From Voluntary Restraint to a Voluntary Price Premium," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(2), pages 195-215, June.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Kotchen, Matthew J. & Moore, Michael R., 2007. "Private provision of environmental public goods: Household participation in green-electricity programs," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-16, January.
- Susan Rose-Ackerman, 1982. "Charitable Giving and â€œExcessiveâ€ Fundraising," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 193-212.
- Matthew J. Kotchen, 2009.
"Voluntary Provision of Public Goods for Bads: A Theory of Environmental Offsets,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 883-899, 04.
- Matthew J. Kotchen, 2007. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods for Bads: A Theory of Environmental Offsets," NBER Working Papers 13643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:5:p:946-960. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.