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Are private investors willing to pay for sustainable investments? A stated choice experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Gunnar Gutsche

    () (University of Kassel)

  • Andreas Ziegler

    () (University of Kassel)

Abstract

This paper examines the willingness of private financial decision makers to pay for socially responsible investments (SRI). Our empirical analysis is based on unique data from a representative computer-based survey in Germany that especially comprised two stated choice experiments. The experiments referred to choices among several equity funds and among several three-year fixed-interest investment products and especially comprised sustainability criteria and financial performance indicators as main attributes. Our econometric analysis with mixed logit models reveals strong stated preferences and thus a considerable willingness to pay for sustainable investments. For example, the estimated mean willingness to sacrifice yearly nominal interest rates for sustainable fixed-interest investment products amounts to 0.21 percentage points among a variation between 1.30% and 2.10%. These results are very stable across several robustness checks that also include different techniques to mitigate possible hypothetical biases. Our latent class logit model analysis confirms a high extent of unobserved heterogeneity between different investor groups and especially reveals that specific social values and norms play an important role. Investor groups with strong considerations of norms by the social environment with respect to SRI and especially with high feelings of warm glow from SRI, a strong environmental awareness, and an affinity to left-wing parties have a substantially higher estimated mean willingness to pay for sustainable investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Gunnar Gutsche & Andreas Ziegler, 2016. "Are private investors willing to pay for sustainable investments? A stated choice experiment," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201640, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201640
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    File URL: https://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/paper_2016/40-2016_gutsche.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Gunnar Gutsche & Anja Köbrich León & Andreas Ziegler, 2016. "On the relevance of psychological motives, values, and norms for socially responsible investments: An econometric analysis," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201641, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Socially responsible investments; stated choice experiments; mixed logit models; latent class logit models; willingness to pay; social values and norms;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities

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