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Heterogeneous Preferences for Community Recycling Programs

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Abstract

This paper examines household preferences for community recycling programs, which have both public and private good dimensions. The data come from a survey conducted in Seattle (WA) which elicited stated preference-contingent ratings for different recycling programs relative to status quo, with experimental variation in the overall community recycling rate achieved and expected household cost. The recycling rate is interpreted as capturing the public benefits of recycling programs and constitutes the most common measure used by policy agencies for setting waste management objectives and evaluating policy initiatives. The analysis begins with fixed parameter models that explore different ways of handling rating data and mixed logit estimations that capture household preference heterogeneity both within and across different recycling programs. This analysis yields unique estimates of willingness to pay for an increase in the community recycling rate. Predicted individual-specific utility parameters are then regressed on household background information to explicitly examine the nature of preference heterogeneity. Overall, this paper generates interpretable policy-relevant insights into the public and private good dimensions of community recycling programs.

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Correspondence to Gorm Kipperberg.

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Kipperberg, G., Larson, D.M. Heterogeneous Preferences for Community Recycling Programs. Environ Resource Econ 53, 577–604 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-012-9578-y

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