The Equity-Efficiency Trade-off in Environmental Policy: Evidence from Stated Preferences
The design of environmental policy raises several equity issues, in particular the distribution of benefits and costs. At the same time, it has often been argued that there is a trade-off in environmental policy between equity and efficiency, which brings these issues firmly to the attention of environmental economics. In this paper we use a simple choice experiment to elicit individual preferences over equity-efficiency trade-offs in the context of two environmental problems, local air pollution and global climate change. We find that equity matters to people as much as efficiency does in the design and delivery of environmental policy.
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