Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 24
This paper explores the micro-foundations of public policy over environmental protection in developing economies by examining individual-level preferences for economically costly pollution abatement. The paper empirically investigates individuals' marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) for stronger environmental protection, analyzing nearly 24,000 survey responses, from 24 developing economies, to environmental questions from the 2005-2008 wave of the World Values Survey. I analyze the probability that an individual states she is WTP for further environmental protection depending on her individual-level characteristics and her country's characteristics. The main results to emerge from the analysis include: (i) perceived environmental problems that are local do not determine MWTP, where as perceived problems that are global do, (ii) self-identification as a world citizen is the strongest determinant of demand for greater environmental protection, indicating that motivation to contribute to a global public good is not a strictly post-material notion, and (iii) the primary determinants of MWTP are not qualitatively different from those among respondents in advanced economies. The results pose a challenge to the objective problems, subjective values response to the critique of the post-materialism hypothesis. It appears that the WTP for environmental protection in developing economies follows from subjective values that are universal, rather than from objective problems.
Environmental protection policy Political preferences Global public goods World Values Survey Developing economies