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The effect of varying the causes of environmental problems on stated wtp values: Evidence from a field study

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Listed:
  • Erwin Bulte
  • Aart de Zeeuw
  • Shelby Gerking
  • John List

Abstract

Standard applications of utility theory assume that utility depends solely on outcomes and not on causes. This study uses a field experiment conducted in the Netherlands to determine if alternative causes of an environmental problem affect willingness to pay to ameliorate it. We find evidence supporting the hypothesis that people are willing to pay significantly more to correct problems caused by humans than by nature (the "outrage effect"), but find no support for the hypothesis that "moral responsibility" matters. We also find support for the hypothesis that stated willingness to pay values obtained via "cheap talk" and "consequential" treatments are lower than without inclusion of these protocols.

Suggested Citation

  • Erwin Bulte & Aart de Zeeuw & Shelby Gerking & John List, 2004. "The effect of varying the causes of environmental problems on stated wtp values: Evidence from a field study," Framed Field Experiments 00134, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:framed:00134
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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