DFG-Forschungsprojekt "Microstructure of WTP to Climate Change Abatement"


"Disaggregating the Motivational Microstructure of Individual Willingness-to-Pay for Climate Protection"


Geplante Laufzeit: 2009 - 2012


What drives citizens willingness-to-pay for climate protection? What are the most important motives for contributions to this global public good? Which crowding-out effects take place within the intra-personal aggregation of these distinct motives? The new DFG project explores these questions employing theory-guided experiments in the field and lab.



This project will shed light on the microstructure of willingness-to-pay (WTP) for climate protection. The willingness of citizens to bear the economic sacrifices required for mitigating climate change is a key policy question. In the existing literature on this WTP (mostly contingent valuation studies), there is evidence that people in general support ambitious goals in climate policy and may be willing to incur costs of the magnitudes that have been estimated by the Stern Review (2006) and others. However, the nature of these numbers is yet unclear. While it is unlikely that this WTP simply reflects Nash equilibrium contributions, the literature on pro-social behavior and on public goods provides various motivational drivers to be considered, each giving rise to some positive willingness. So far, little is known about the process of intra-personal aggregation of these distinct WTPs and intra-personal trade-offs when policies target specific motivations. As a result, policies aimed at harnessing this WTP may significantly fall short of its potential.Im Rahmen des Projekts ECOCRIME soll die ökologische Steuerung.



The primary objective of this projects it to disaggregate the microstructure of willingness-to-pay for climate change abatement of German citizens, in particular, to

  • disentangle major drivers and quantify the strength of these motives in aggregated WTP, and
  • shed light on the process of intra-personal aggregation of these distinct WTPs and the intra-personal trade-offs when policies target multiple motivations.



A set of theory-guided, web-based field experiments employing a large representative sample is carried out in cooperation with a leading polling company and accompanied by a set of laboratory experiments. During experiments, retiring EU Emission Allowances facilitates both incentive-compatible and credible contributions through real reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The project focuses on five sets of motives: altruism, 'warm glow' of giving, image motivation, justice perceptions, and moral obligations.


Seitenbearbeiter: Wiebke Tubbesing
Letzte Änderung: 10.10.2013
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