Doing My Part to Save the Global Commons? Environmental Awareness and Voluntary Fuel Economization in Gasoline Markets

39 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2009 Last revised: 25 May 2013

See all articles by Patrick A. McLaughlin

Patrick A. McLaughlin

Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Bentley Coffey

Clemson University

Date Written: March 26, 2009

Abstract

Information about collectively-created problems, such as air pollution, may elicit voluntary changes to consumer behavior that at least partially offset the cause of the problem. We show that increases in information about climate change are associated with statistically and economically significant decreases in expenditure on gasoline, controlling for gasoline prices and income. We simultaneously provide updated estimates of the short run price and income elasticities of demand for gasoline in the US, utilizing recent weekly gasoline consumption and price data and spatially-delineated supply side disruptions due to hurricanes as an instrument for price.

Keywords: climate change, global warming, gasoline demand, voluntary protection of the commons, environmentalism, environmental awareness

JEL Classification: Q00, Q25, Q54, Q58, H41

Suggested Citation

McLaughlin, Patrick A. and Coffey, Bentley, Doing My Part to Save the Global Commons? Environmental Awareness and Voluntary Fuel Economization in Gasoline Markets (March 26, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1368933 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1368933

Patrick A. McLaughlin (Contact Author)

Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
(703) 993-9670 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.patrickamclaughlin.com

Bentley Coffey

Clemson University ( email )

101 Sikes Ave
Clemson, SC 29634
United States

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