Willingness to Pay for Public Goods: A Test of the Contribution Model

Guagnano, G. A., Dietz, T., & Stern, P. C. (1994). Willingness to pay for public goods: A test of the contribution model. Psychological Science, 5, 6, 411-415.

Tested the hypothesis that stated willingness to pay (WTP) for environmental quality follows a contribution model rather than the purchase model that is more congenial to economic thinking. The authors examined the ability of the S. H. Schwartz (1970, 1977) norm-activation model of altruism to explain 6 different WTP assessments. The Schwartz model explained stated WTP for environmental quality, except when payments were framed as taxes. It is suggested that models should presume that both altruistic and egoistic considerations may affect stated WTP and that framing may affect contributions.

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