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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Friebel, Guido / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Tsui, Kevin / Wichardt, Philipp / Zulehner, Christine

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Willingness to Pay for Environmental Quality: Testable Empirical Implications of the Growth and Environment Literature

Debra Israel1 / Arik Levinson2

1Indiana State University,

2Georgetown,

Citation Information: Contributions in Economic Analysis & Policy. Volume 3, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1538-0645, DOI: 10.2202/1538-0645.1254, February 2004

Publication History

Published Online:
2004-02-17

Abstract

Several different theoretical models of economic growth and environmental quality each generate inverse-U-shaped pollution-income paths, or "environmental Kuznets curves." They rely on different assumptions to generate the reversal of pollution trends, with correspondingly different policy implications. While the empirical implications for pollution are indistinguishable (by design), the models have distinct implications for the pattern of people's marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) for environmental improvements as a function of income. In this paper we demonstrate those different implications theoretically, and test for them empirically using data from the World Value Survey (WVS). We find strong relationships between MWTP and individual characteristics, such as age, income, and education, but little evidence that MWTP varies systematically with economic growth.

Keywords: World Values Survey; environmental Kuznets curve; environmental preferences

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