Munich Personal RePEc Archive

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

Owen, Ann L. and Videras, Julio and Wu, Stephen (2008): More information isn’t always better: the case of voluntary provision of environmental quality.

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Abstract

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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