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Environmental Policy when People's Preferences are Inconsistent, Non-Welfaristic, or simply Not Developed

Author

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  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof

    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

This paper discusses how a benevolent policy maker should act based on some, possibly non-welfaristic,ethical principle in cases where people's preferences are not perfectly informed,consistent and fully developed with regard to all goods, including all kinds of environmental goods, as is normally assumed in mainstream economic theory. When stated or revealed preferences do not reflect the maximization of individual welfare, it is argued that welfare,rather than preferences, has intrinsic value. However, it is also argued that properly designed stated preference methods may provide useful information about people’s views about alternative ethical ends, besides human well-being, and that policy makers should take such views seriously.

Suggested Citation

  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2001. "Environmental Policy when People's Preferences are Inconsistent, Non-Welfaristic, or simply Not Developed," Working Papers in Economics 34, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0034
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    File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/gunwpe/papers/gunwpe0034.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Elisabeth Gsottbauer & Jeroen Bergh, 2011. "Environmental Policy Theory Given Bounded Rationality and Other-regarding Preferences," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(2), pages 263-304, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ethics; environmental policy; environmental valuation; cost-benefit analysis; endogenous preferences; preference construction; irrationality; bounded rationality; cognitive dissonance; anthropocentrism;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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