Over the past decade there has been growing interest in the role of information in the promotion of environmentally friendly behaviour. This book examines how and why the provision of such information can affect individual decisions concerning buying or consuming a product or valuing a policy. The information can take the form of a product label or a statement in a survey questionnaire, and the decision can be what product to buy, what food to eat or how to answer a contingent valuation question.
The chapters in this volume carefully explore the explanations for consumer behaviour in different scenarios where information is provided about the `public' implications of individual decisions. The first set of chapters examines the prospects for eco-labelling as a tool of environmental policy from a variety of different perspectives. They also look at how this form of information provision compares with more familiar policy instruments in achieving efficiency goals. In the second and third sections the focus is on environmental and food labelling, in which a combination of private and public motives for purchase decisions is found. Finally, the role of information in contingent valuation surveys is considered, in particular the impact of information and time in altering stated value responses.
Containing both theoretical and empirical research, this original volume will appeal to environmental economists, researchers and policymakers interested in the role of information provision in economic behaviour and environmental policy.
Edited by Signe Krarup, former Research Fellow, AKF, Institute of Local Government Studies, Denmark and Clifford S. Russell, Professor of Economics Emeritus, Vanderbilt University, US, Visiting Professor, AKF, Institute of Local Government Studies, Denmark and Research Associate, Bowdoin College, US
Contents: Preface 1. Environment, Information and Consumer Behaviour: An Introduction Part I: Information and Consumer Behaviour 2. Values and Habits: A Dual-Process Model 3. Consumer Behaviour and the Environment: Which Role for Information? 4. Evaluating the Factors that Impact the Effectiveness of Eco-labelling Programmes Part II: Environmental Labelling 5. Eco-labelling Economics: Is Public Involvement Necessary? 6. Public Information Provision as a Tool of Environmental Policy 7. The Use of Certification and Eco-labelling as a Market-Based Policy Instrument for Biodiversity Management Part III: Food Labelling 8. Information Provision, Consumer Perceptions and Values - The Case of Organic Foods 9. Demand for Low-Fat Dairy Products - Demand for Healthiness or Taste? 10. Information, Consumer Perceptions and Regulations: The Case of Organic Salmon Part IV: Information and Valuation 11. The Effects of Information on Willingness to Pay: A Contingent Valuation Study of S. Erasmo in the Lagoon of Venice 12. New Approaches to Valuing Environmental Benefits Using Contingent Valuation 13. Payment Schemes, Signalling and Warm Glow: An Illustration of the Joint Characteristics Model to a CV Exercise Index