The Private Rationality of Bottled Water Drinking

Contemporary Economic Policy, Forthcoming

Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 14-1

48 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2014 Last revised: 30 Jan 2014

See all articles by W. Kip Viscusi

W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt University - Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics

Joel C. Huber

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Jason Bell

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 31, 2013

Abstract

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

Viscusi, W. Kip and Huber, Joel C. and Bell, Jason, The Private Rationality of Bottled Water Drinking (December 31, 2013). Contemporary Economic Policy, Forthcoming, Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 14-1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2376529 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2376529

W. Kip Viscusi (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-7715 (Phone)
615-322-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Joel C. Huber

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
919-660-7785 (Phone)

Jason Bell

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

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