, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 405-429
Date: 30 Jun 2013

Willingness to Pay for Voluntary Climate Action and Its Determinants: Field-Experimental Evidence

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The determinants of individual, voluntary climate action (VCA) in combating climate change and its potential scale are frequently debated in public but largely underresearched. We provide estimates of the willingness to individually reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by one ton, using the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme. Estimates are derived from an online field experiment with a large, highly heterogenous, and Internet-representative sample of voting-aged Germans. Jointly estimating willingness to pay (WTP), non-indifference to VCA, and prior knowledge, we uncover important determinants of preferences for VCA, such as education, the information structure among the population, and exogenous environmental conditions.

The authors thank conference participants at the CESifo Summer Institute (Venice 2010), at the annual meeting of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (Rome 2011), at the annual meeting of the Verein für Socialpolitik (Frankfurt 2011), at the Climate Economics and Law Conference (Bern 2011) and at the Summer Meeting of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (Asheville, NC 2012) as well as seminar participants at Heidelberg for helpful comments. We also thank Ruth Fieber, Christina Grimm, and Thomas Scheuerle for student assistance and Dr. Svenja Espenhorst and Dennis Mignon at First Climate for support in acquiring EU ETS allowances. Financial support by the German Science Foundation (DFG) under grant GO1604/1 is gratefully acknowledged.