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    Pollution exposure and willingness to pay for clean air in urban China2020

    GUO D., WANG A., ZHANG A.T.Journaux et Revues (scientifiques)

    consentement à payer, coûts / mesures de réduction, évaluation contingente, pollution, santé

    Journal of Environmental Management
    Volume 261, 1 May 2020, 110174

    • This study combines large survey data with ground-level monitoring station data on air quality.

    • Exposure to persistent air pollution significantly determines the extent individuals are willing to pay for cleaner air.

    • Male, younger, and educated individuals tend to have higher willingness to pay.

    • Individuals with higher knowledge of sustainability and exhibit more pro-environmental behaviors are willing to pay more.

    • The public's willingness to pay is much higher than the current level of government incentive to reduce air pollution.

    Rapid industrialization and urbanization are often accompanied by deteriorating air quality that imposes substantial health and productivity costs on the local population. However, existing studies have generally found low marginal willingness to pay (WTP) for mitigating such damages. To understand the determinants and the extent of WTP for air quality improvements, we collected comprehensive socio-demographic and stated preference information from more than 3000 random respondents in three cities in China. Combining the survey data with air quality data from ground-level monitoring stations, we find that exposure to persistent air pollution is a significant determinant of the extent individuals are willing to pay for cleaner air. On average, urban residents are willing to pay 65 CNY (~10 USD) each year to improve air quality to World Health Organization standards. Males and individuals that are younger and more educated tend to have higher WTP. We also find that individuals with more knowledge of sustainability and who engage in more pro-environmental behaviors are willing to pay more. Compared to existing government monetary incentives to reduce air pollution, the public's total WTP for cleaner air is much higher. Overall, these results highlight the potential welfare gain for policymakers to implement more stringent air quality regulations to reduce pollution.

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