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Do buyers and sellers evaluate air pollution reduction Differently? experimental evidence from China

Nan Zhang and Botao Qin ()

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2021, vol. 87, issue C

Abstract: This paper is the first study to investigate the good dealness account of the endowment effect in non-market goods. We designed a within-subjects experiment to measure the value of air pollution reduction through the evaluation of a market good, PM 2.5 filters. We divided the subjects into buyers and sellers and asked them to trade four PM 2.5 filters using the Becker–DeGroot–Marschakauction under two treatments: a) a drop in air quality, which served to increase the market price of the filters; and b) the receipt of information on the relationship between death rates and air pollution, which served to increase the intrinsic value of the filters. Our results show that buyers’ willingness to pay for pollution reduction did not increase when air pollution worsened but did increase when informed of the possibility of health damage from air pollution. Sellers’ willingness to accept for air quality deterioration increased when pollution worsened but remained the same upon receiving information about health damage. We conclude that sellers are more sensitive to changes in market price, while buyers are more sensitive to changes in intrinsic value. Our findings support the theory of seeking a good deal in explaining the endowment effect.

Keywords: Endowment effect; Loss aversion; Air pollution; BDM auction; Good deal seeking (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2021.102460

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