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Ecological footprint and willingness to pay for green goods: Evidence from the Netherlands

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/01/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Energy Journal
Issue number1
Number of pages29
Pages (from-to)257-285
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Human consumption of scarce ecological resources is at the heart of the climate change crisis. Mitigating climate change will require changes in consumer behavior. Further, to respond effectively, policymakers need information on the environmental impact of individuals' behaviors. In this paper, we study the effect of socio-demographic characteristics and personality traits on individuals' environmental impact measured by their ecological footprint. We also investigate consumers' willingness to pay for 'green' goods. Using survey data from the Netherlands, first, we construct individuals' ecological footprint. The survey also uses a 50-item personality scale developed by Goldberg (1992) to construct five personality traits. We find that individuals with higher personal income, less than a high school education, males, the employed, and people living in rural areas are associated with a higher EF. We also find that consumers' WTP and demand are responsive to price increases in high-emitting goods and personality traits. We contribute to our understanding of the influence of socio-demographic and personality characteristics on the actual ecological footprint at the individual level. Further, we contribute to the economic literature on consumers' WTP for 'green' products as well as the ongoing discussion on using market-based solutions to tackle climate change.