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Social preferences


Doing good with other people’s money: A charitable giving experiment with students in environmental sciences and economics

Abstract: We augment a standard dictator game to investigate how preferences for an environmental project relate to willingness to limit others’ choices. We explore this issue by distinguishing three student groups: economists, environmental economists, and environmental social scientists. We find that people are generally disposed to grant freedom of choice, but only within certain limits. In addition, our results are in line with the widely held belief that economists are more selfish than other people.


Effort Optimization in Artisanal Fisheries with Multiple Management Objectives, Collective Quotas, and Heterogeneous Fleets

In this study, we analyse effort optimisation in common rights-based joint-stock artisanal fisheries when several objectives are pursued by the authorities and the fleets are heterogeneous. The purpose is to discuss policy options available to the authorities and their implications in terms of trade-offs between goals. We apply a multi-objective programming model to the sardine and anchovy artisanal fisheries in central southern Chile. The results suggest that the regulatory system generates inefficient solutions for profit and employment maximisation goals.


Thanks but No Thanks: A New Policy to Avoid Land Conflict

Land conflicts can be detrimental. An important goal of development policy is to help define and instill respect for borders. This is often implemented through mandatory and expensive interventions that rely on the expansion of government land administration institutions.


Social Background, Cooperative Behavior, and Norm Enforcement

Studies have shown that there are differences in cooperative behavior across countries. Furthermore, differences in the use and the reaction on the introduction of a norm enforcement mechanism have been documented in cross-cultural studies, recently. We present data which prove that stark differences in both dimensions can exist even within the same town. For this end, a unique data set was created, based on public goods experiments conducted in Cape Town, South Africa.


Enforcement of Exogenous Environmental Regulations, Social Disapproval, and Bribery

Many resource users are not involved in formulating and enforcement of resource management regulations in developing countries and do not generally accept such rules. Enforcement officers who have social ties to resource users may encounter social disapproval if they enforce regulations zealously, so they may accept bribes to avoid it. The authors present a neoclassical utility maximization framework that characterizes this situation, derive results for situations where officers are passively and actively involved in the bribery, and make some interesting policy recommendations.


Trade, GMOs, and Environmental Risk: Are Policies Likely to Improve Welfare?

Controversy over the EU import ban on food from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) forced the EU to change course and institute a mandatory labeling scheme. This study first examined how different policies for the production and use of GMOs might influence the market outcome in consumer food markets. Second, it evaluated the welfare effects of the policy measures, finding that mandatory labeling often increases both domestic welfare and global welfare, while trade bans more likely decrease global welfare.


Discounting and relative prices

Environmentalists are often upset at the effect of discounting costs of future environmental damage, e.g., due to climate change. An often-overlooked message is that we should discount costs but also take into account the increase in the relative price of the ecosystem service endangered.


Honestly, why are you driving a BMW?

This paper proposes that people derive utility not only from goods or their attributes as in standard models, but also from their self-image as influenced by their own perception of their preferences. In a representative survey, most respondents considered their own concern for status when purchasing a car to be minor in comparison with the status concerns of others.


Environmental Charges in Airline Markets

Over the last two decades many airline markets have been deregulated, resulting in increased competition and use of different types of networks. At the same time there has been an intense discussion on environmental taxation of airline traffic. It is likely that an optimal environmental tax and the effects of a tax differ between different types of aviation markets.


Trade, GMOs, and Environmental Risk: Are Policies Likely to Improve Welfare?

Food with inputs from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has met considerable skepticism among European Union (EU) consumers. The EU import ban on GM food has triggered a great deal of controversy and has been partly replaced by a mandatory labeling scheme. Although there is no measure in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade that directly addresses the use of product labeling, WTO and others have been skeptical to mandatory product labeling on the grounds that they may be used as hidden protectionism hampering global welfare. This study has two foci. First, we examine how different policies for the production and use of GMOs might influence the market outcome in consumer food markets. Second, we evaluate the welfare effects of the policy measures. We find that mandatory labeling often increases domestic welfare and, may also enhance global welfare. On the other hand, a trade ban is more likely to decrease global welfare.