Jakob, Michael Kübler, Dorothea Steckel, Jan Christoph van Velduizen, Roel
Year of Publication:
WZB Discussion Paper SP II 2016-215
Although market-based environmental policy instruments feature prominently in economic theory and are widely employed, they often meet with public resistance. We argue that such resistance may be driven by a feeling of moral responsibility where citizens prefer to tackle environmental problems themselves, rather than delegating the task to others by means of a market mechanism. Using a laboratory experiment that isolates moral responsibility from alternative explanations, we show that moral responsibility induces participants to incur a sizable cost on themselves as well as on other participants. We discuss the implications of this finding for the design and implementation of environmental policies.
Laboratory Experiment Moral Responsibility Environmental Policy Market Mechanism Climate Change