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Green consumers and public policy: On socially contingent moral motivation

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  • Nyborg, Karine
  • Howarth, Richard B.
  • Brekke, Kjell Arne

Abstract

“Green” consumers appear to accept individual responsibility for public good provision. The propensity to take such responsibility may depend on beliefs about others’ behavior, even for consumers motivated by internalized moral norms, not by social sanctions. This can produce multiple equilibria, with either high or low demand for “green” products. Permanent increases in green consumption may be achieved through permanent or temporary taxes, or through advertising that temporarily influences beliefs about others’ behavior or about external effects. If a tax is interpreted as taking responsibility away from the individual, however, taxes can reduce the influence of moral motivation.
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Suggested Citation

  • Nyborg, Karine & Howarth, Richard B. & Brekke, Kjell Arne, 2006. "Green consumers and public policy: On socially contingent moral motivation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 351-366, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:28:y:2006:i:4:p:351-366
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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