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More information isn’t always better: the case of voluntary provision of environmental quality

  • Owen, Ann L.
  • Videras, Julio
  • Wu, Stephen

This paper adds to the literature on the voluntary provision of public goods by showing that the warm glow that individuals gain depends on the perceived relative effectiveness of contributions. We use a new survey on pro-environment behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge and find that individuals act in accordance with their beliefs, regardless of whether or not these beliefs are accurate, and engage more frequently in activities that have a higher perceived impact on environmental quality. We find that low provision of the public good is greater among people who believe they cannot do much for the environment and do not consider themselves environmentalists.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/11588/1/MPRA_paper_11588.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11588.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11588
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  1. Matthew J. Kotchen, 2006. "Green Markets and Private Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 816-845, August.
  2. Jay Shimshack, 2004. "Are Mercury Advisories Effective? Inofrmation, Education, and Fish Consumption," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0423, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  3. Kotchen, Matthew J., 2005. "Impure public goods and the comparative statics of environmentally friendly consumption," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 281-300, March.
  4. Berrens, Robert P. & Bohara, Alok K. & Jenkins-Smith, Hank C. & Silva, Carol L. & Weimer, David L., 2004. "Information and effort in contingent valuation surveys: application to global climate change using national internet samples," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 331-363, March.
  5. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2004. "The Illusion of Sustainability," NBER Working Papers 10324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ginger Zhe Jin & Phillip Leslie, 2003. "The Effect Of Information On Product Quality: Evidence From Restaurant Hygiene Grade Cards," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 409-451, May.
  7. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  8. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Kverndokk, Snorre & Nyborg, Karine, 2003. "An economic model of moral motivation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1967-1983, September.
  9. Kenkel, Don, 1990. "Consumer Health Information and the Demand for Medical Care," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 587-95, November.
  10. Matthew J. Kotchen, 2007. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods for Bads: A Theory of Environmental Offsets," NBER Working Papers 13643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Khanna, Madhu & Quimio, Wilma Rose H. & Bojilova, Dora, 1998. "Toxics Release Information: A Policy Tool for Environmental Protection," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 243-266, November.
  12. Magali Delmas & Maria J. Montes-Sancho & Jay P. Shimshack, 2010. "Information Disclosure Policies: Evidence From The Electricity Industry," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(2), pages 483-498, 04.
  13. Kenkel, D.S., 1988. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, And Schooling," Papers 10-88-3, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  14. Daniel Houser & Robert Kurzban, 2002. "Revisiting Kindness and Confusion in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1062-1069, September.
  15. Wu Stephen, 2005. "Fatalistic Tendencies: An Explanation of Why People Don't Save," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-23, September.
  16. repec:att:wimass:9309 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Konar, Shameek & Cohen, Mark A., 1997. "Information As Regulation: The Effect of Community Right to Know Laws on Toxic Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 109-124, January.
  18. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "What Works in Securities Law?," NBER Working Papers 9882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Duncan, Brian, 2004. "A theory of impact philanthropy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2159-2180, August.
  20. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  21. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  22. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  23. Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B. & Beatty, Timothy K.M., 2007. "Mercury advisories: Information, education, and fish consumption," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 158-179, March.
  24. Rosemary Avery & Donald Kenkel & Dean R. Lillard & Alan Mathios, 2007. "Private Profits and Public Health: Does Advertising of Smoking Cessation Products Encourage Smokers to Quit?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 447-481.
  25. Erling Holden, 2004. "Towards sustainable consumption: do green households have smaller ecological footprints?," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(1), pages 44-58.
  26. Thogersen, John & Olander, Folke, 2002. "Human values and the emergence of a sustainable consumption pattern: A panel study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 605-630, October.
  27. Owen, Ann L. & Videras, Julio, 2006. "Civic cooperation, pro-environment attitudes, and behavioral intentions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 814-829, July.
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