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Sad or happy? The effects of emotions on stated preferences for environmental goods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Nick Hanley, Christopher Boyce, Mikołaj Czajkowski, Steve Tucker, Charles Noussair, Michael Townsend

Abstract

A substantial literature in behavioural science and psychology shows that emotions affect human choices and values. This paper investigates whether such emotional impacts are also present in stated choice experiments for environmental goods. If this were so, it would introduce an additional element of context dependence to the welfare measures derived from such methods, and would be at odds with the rational choice model underlying welfare economics. A laboratory experiment using three different emotion treatments was combined with a stated preference choice experiment concerned with changes in coastal water quality and fish populations in New Zealand. No statistically significant effects of changes in emotional state on estimated preference parameters, willingness to pay or the randomness of choices were found. The paper concludes by questioning, why such a contrast exists with empirical findings in behavioural science.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-846
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Volume68
Issue number4
Early online date18 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

    Research areas

  • Choice experiments, Behavioural economics, Environmental valuation, Emotions, Cost-benefit analysis

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