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Altruism and the Demand for Environmental Quality

  • David Popp
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    This paper asks whether individuals consider the value that future generations will receive from environmental quality when deciding what level of environmental protection to provide. Using data on life expectancy, I develop two tests for altruism towards future generations. One, a test for strong altruism, asks whether individual motives are purely altruistic when deciding to provide environmental quality. The second, a test for weak altruism, combines an individual’ s concern for both self-interest and the interest of future generations. Using data from a Washington Post survey on environmental attitudes to implement the test, I find evidence of weak altruism.

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    File URL: http://le.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/77/3/339
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    Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

    Volume (Year): 77 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 339-349

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:77:y:2001:i:3:p:339-349
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://le.uwpress.org/

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    1. Herbert A. Simon, 1992. "Altruism and Economics," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 73-83, Winter.
    2. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Sellar, Christine & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Stoll, John R., 1986. "Specification of the logit model: The case of valuation of nonmarket goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 382-390, December.
    4. Cameron, Trudy Ann & James, Michelle D, 1987. "Efficient Estimation Methods for "Closed-ended' Contingent Valuation Surveys," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 269-76, May.
    5. Becker, Gary S, 1976. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 817-26, September.
    6. Deacon, Robert T & Shapiro, Perry, 1975. "Private Preference for Collective Goods Revealed Through Voting on Referenda," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 943-55, December.
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