The Private Rationality of Bottled Water Drinking

18 Pages Posted: 14 May 2015

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 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: July 2015

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.

JEL Classification: D12, D80, Q50

Suggested Citation

Viscusi, W. Kip and Huber, Joel and Bell, Jason, The Private Rationality of Bottled Water Drinking (July 2015). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 33, Issue 3, pp. 450-467, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2605218 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/coep.12088

W. Kip Viscusi (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

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

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics

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(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 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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