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On behavioral-environmental economics
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Economics.
2008 (English)In: Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, ISSN 1750-6816, E-ISSN 1750-6824, Vol. 2, no 1, 26-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Traditional environmental and resource economics uses rational choice theory to guide the evaluation of alternative policy options to correct market failure. Behavioral economics, however, has challenged this conventional mindset by showing how people frequently make choices and state values that deviate from the presumption of rationality, i.e., behavioral failures. This article explores the potential of behavioral economics to advance the science of environmental and resource economics. We address four questions: (1) How can behavioral failures affect thinking about environmental policy? (2) When are behavioral failures relevant to the science of environmental economics? (3) Is behavioral failure just another form of market failure? (4) Do we have a new behavioral-environmental second best problem? We conclude that the evidence from behavioral economics remains insufficient to support the wholesale rejection of rational choice theory within environmental and resource economics. But this does not mean anomalous behavior is non-existent; nature's goods and services frequently lack the active market-like arbitrage needed to encourage consistent and rational choice. We believe it is crucial to identify the economic circumstances, institutional designs, and social contexts in which rational choice theory works and those where it fails to capture observed behavior.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Vol. 2, no 1, 26-44 p.
Keyword [en]
Coase theorem, public-goods, preference anomalies, experimental tests, self-control, willingness, rationality, pay, choice, accept
National Category
Economics Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-117473DOI: 10.1093/reep/rem027ISI: 000273118300003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-117473DiVA: diva2:911707
Available from: 2016-03-14 Created: 2016-03-01 Last updated: 2016-03-14Bibliographically approved

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Shogren, Jason F
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