IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Citizen preferences for possible energy policies at the national and state levels


  • Peterson, Mark
  • Feldman, David


Without knowledge of citizen preferences, policy makers most often rely on their intuition to infer such preferences or on biased information provided by special interest groups. Using a choice-modeling approach, the study features two large-scale, field-research projects—one done nationally in the US, and another composed of separate data collection efforts across eight states where energy policies have a high profile in public discourse. The results suggest four outcomes of energy policies are most important to citizens at the national level: 1) environmental quality, 2) energy costs, 3) job creation, and 4) greenhouse gas emissions. This pattern of importance for the outcomes of energy policy persists across important demographic groups including those related to political-party affiliation. At the state level, the four preferred outcomes of energy policies seen at the national level also appear—although in a different order of preference in some states. Further analysis of citizens’ willingness to change energy policy at the state level suggests that risk aversion characterizes citizens’ views about revising energy policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Peterson, Mark & Feldman, David, 2018. "Citizen preferences for possible energy policies at the national and state levels," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 80-91.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:121:y:2018:i:c:p:80-91
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.05.069

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    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

    1. Emily Lancsar & Jordan Louviere, 2008. "Conducting Discrete Choice Experiments to Inform Healthcare Decision Making," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 26(8), pages 661-677, August.
    2. Butler, C. & Demski, C. & Parkhill, K. & Pidgeon, N. & Spence, A., 2015. "Public values for energy futures: Framing, indeterminacy and policy making," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 665-672.
    3. Dietrich, Franz & Spiekermann, Kai, 2013. "Epistemic Democracy With Defensible Premises," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(01), pages 87-120, March.
    4. John R. Hauser, 1978. "Testing the Accuracy, Usefulness, and Significance of Probabilistic Choice Models: An Information-Theoretic Approach," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 26(3), pages 406-421, June.
    5. Borchers, Allison M. & Duke, Joshua M. & Parsons, George R., 2007. "Does willingness to pay for green energy differ by source?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 3327-3334, June.
    6. Peterson, Thomas D. & Rose, Adam Z., 2006. "Reducing conflicts between climate policy and energy policy in the US: The important role of the states," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 619-631, March.
    7. Lee, Donghyun & Kim, Minki & Lee, Jungyoun, 2016. "Adoption of green electricity policies: Investigating the role of environmental attitudes via big data-driven search-queries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 187-201.
    8. Sanya Carley & Tyler R. Browne, 2013. "Innovative US energy policy: a review of states' policy experiences," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(5), pages 488-506, September.
    9. Hoyos, David, 2010. "The state of the art of environmental valuation with discrete choice experiments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1595-1603, June.
    10. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    11. Alvarez-Farizo, Begona & Hanley, Nick, 2002. "Using conjoint analysis to quantify public preferences over the environmental impacts of wind farms. An example from Spain," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 107-116, January.
    12. Lu, Ming & Xia, Yiran, 2016. "Migration in the People’s Republic of China," ADBI Working Papers 593, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    13. Delmas, Magali A. & Montes-Sancho, Maria J., 2011. "U.S. state policies for renewable energy: Context and effectiveness," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2273-2288, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    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:enepol:v:121:y:2018:i:c:p:80-91. 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: .

    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.