Environmental and Resource Economics
Utility-based green electricity programs provide market opportunities for consumers to reduce the carbon footprint of their electricity use. These programs deploy three types of public-goods contribution mechanisms: voluntary contribution, green tariff, and all-or-nothing green tariff (Kotchen and Moore, 2007). We extend the theoretical understanding of the all-or-nothing green tariff mechanism by showing that an assumption of warm-glow preferences is needed to explain widespread participation in programs deploying this mechanism. We conduct the first experimental test to compare the revenue generating capacity of a pure public good (based on the voluntary contribution mechanism) and an impure public good (based on the green tariff mechanism). In experimental play, the voluntary contribution mechanism raises 50% more revenue than the green tariff mechanism. With the all-or-nothing green tariff, experimental play and regression estimates show that a warm-glow preference positively affects participation, as predicted by the theory.
Mitra, A., & Moore, M. R. (2017). Green Electricity Markets as Mechanisms of Public-Goods Provision: Theory and Experimental Evidence. Environmental and Resource Economics, 1-27.