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Risk Perceptions, Voluntary Contributions and Environmental Policy


  • Johanna Etner

    (GAINS et EUREQua)

  • Meglena Jeleva

    () (LEN-C3E et EUREQua)

  • Pierre-André Jouvet



This article study the impact of risk perception on environmental policy. The environmental quality is uncertain and can be improved by voluntary contributions. We introduce then an heterogeneity in individuals' risk perceptions. In this context, the social optimum can be decentralized by tax financed government subsidies to private provision. We distinguish the case of a government who represents perfectly agents' preferences from the case of a government with its own risk preferences. In the two cases, we show that neutrality still holds.

Suggested Citation

  • Johanna Etner & Meglena Jeleva & Pierre-André Jouvet, 2004. "Risk Perceptions, Voluntary Contributions and Environmental Policy," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques v04097, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:wpsorb:v04097

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
    2. Kimball, Miles S & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1989. "Precautionary Saving and the Timing of Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 863-879, August.
    3. Jouvet, Pierre-Andre & Michel, Philippe & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. "Altruism, Voluntary Contributions and Neutrality: The Case of Environmental Quality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(268), pages 465-475, November.
    4. Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
    5. Warr, Peter G., 1982. "Pareto optimal redistribution and private charity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 131-138, October.
    6. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    7. Johanna Etner & Meglena Jeleva & Pierre-Andre Jouvet, 2009. "Pessimism Or Optimism: A Justification To Voluntary Contributions Toward Environmental Quality ," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 308-319, December.
    8. Bernheim, B Douglas & Bagwell, Kyle, 1988. "Is Everything Neutral?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 308-338, April.
    9. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
    10. Boadway, Robin & Pestieau, Pierre & Wildasin, David, 1989. "Tax-transfer policies and the voluntary provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 157-176, July.
    11. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    12. Feldstein, Martin, 1988. "The Effects of Fiscal Policies when Incomes Are Uncertain: A Contradiction to Ricardian Equivalence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 14-23, March.
    13. Herman Cousy, 1996. "The Precautionary Principle: A Status Questionis*," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 21(2), pages 158-169, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin Ouvrard & Sandrine Spaeter, 2016. "Environmental Incentives: Nudge or Tax?," Working Papers of BETA 2016-23, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    2. Kene Boun My & Benjamin Ouvrard, 2017. "Nudge and Tax in an Environmental Public Goods Experiment: Does Environmental Sensitivity Matter?," Working Papers of BETA 2017-06, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    3. Langlais, Eric, 2010. "Safety and the Allocation of Costs in Large Accidents," MPRA Paper 25710, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Benjamin Ouvrard & Sandrine Spaeter, 2016. "Environmental Incentives: Nudge or Tax?," Working Papers 2016.15, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

    More about this item


    Risk perception; pessimism; optimism; environmental quality.;

    JEL classification:

    • D89 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Other
    • D69 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Other
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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