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How green are economists?

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  • Stefano Carattini
  • Alessandro Tavoni

Abstract

The market for voluntary carbon offsets has grown steadily in the last decade, yet it remains a very small niche. While 10% of greenhouse gas emissions generated by transportation are related to civil aviation, the use of offsets in this industry remains marginal for both leisure and business traveling. This paper exploits a unique dataset examining the decision to purchase carbon offsets at two academic conferences in environmental and ecological economics. We find that having the conference expenses covered by one’s institution increases the likelihood of offsetting, but practical and ethical reservations as well as personal characteristics and preferences also play an important role. We focus on the effect of objecting to the use of offsets and discuss the implications for practitioners and policy-makers. Based on our findings, we suggest that ecological and environmental economists should be more involved in the design and use of carbon offsets.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Carattini & Alessandro Tavoni, 2016. "How green are economists?," GRI Working Papers 247, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  • Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp247
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Carattini & Andrea Baranzini & Philippe Thalmann & Frédéric Varone & Frank Vöhringer, 2017. "Green Taxes in a Post-Paris World: Are Millions of Nays Inevitable?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(1), pages 97-128, September.
    2. Baranzini, Andrea & Borzykowski, Nicolas & Carattini, Stefano, 2018. "Carbon offsets out of the woods? Acceptability of domestic vs. international reforestation programmes in the lab," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-12.
    3. Andrea Baranzini & Nicolas Borzykowski & Stefano Carattini, 2016. "Carbon offsets out of the woods? The acceptability of domestic vs. international reforestation programmes," GRI Working Papers 257, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    4. Stefano Carattini & Julia Blasch, 2020. "Nudging When the Descriptive Norm Is Low: Evidence from a Carbon Offsetting Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 8542, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • H8 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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