Do EPA administrators recommend environmental policies that citizens want?
We investigate whether Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator preferences regarding improvements in environmental quality differ from citizen preferences. The scope and significance of the possible difference are assessed by conducting identical choice experiments (CE) on a random sample of Swedish citizens and a random sample of administrators working at the Swedish EPA. The experiment concerns two environmental quality objectives: a Balanced Marine Environment and Clean Air. The EPA administrators were asked to choose the alternatives they would recommend as a policy, while the citizens were asked to act as private persons. We find that the rankings of attributes differ between the two groups, and that there are significant differences in the willingness to pay (WTP) for particular attributes. EPA administrators have a higher WTP for five out of the seven attributes, and in some cases the difference is not only significant but also substantial. We also asked the administrators to motivate their CE choices, and the main motive was ecological sustainability.
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