The Private Rationality of Bottled Water Drinking
Contemporary Economic Policy, Forthcoming
48 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2014 Last revised: 30 Jan 2014
Date Written: December 31, 2013
This article examines evidence for the private rationality of decisions to choose bottled water using a large, nationally representative sample. Consumers are more likely to believe that bottled water is safer or tastes better if they have had adverse experiences with tap water or live in states with more prevalent violations of EPA water quality standards. Perceptions of superior safety, taste, and convenience of bottled water boost consumption of bottled water. Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to drink bottled water due to their relatively greater exposure to unsafe water and greater risk beliefs. The coherent network of experiences, beliefs, and actions is consistent with rational consumer choice.
Keywords: bottled water, rationality, risk, safety, water quality
JEL Classification: D12, D80, Q50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation