The Role of Public Information in Increasing Homebuyers’ Willingness-to-Pay for Green Housing: Evidence from Beijing
Posted: 11 Nov 2019
Date Written: October 30, 2019
To explain the weak demand for green housing in Chinese cities, researchers point to the lack of reliable and accurate information to convince owners to invest, yet there is little concrete evidence that such information would in fact promote homebuyers' investment in green housing. We implement an information experiment in Beijing. We select two pairs of residential complexes – each pair has two complexes located in the same housing submarket, and one is green while the other is not. We ask the respondents' willingness to buy a new green housing unit, and, if yes, the price premium they are willing to pay. Then we show them an information card that documents that green apartments outperform their non-green counterparts in terms of several indoor environmental indicators, and then ask them the same two questions. We find that dwellers living in green complexes present a significantly higher initial willingness-to-pay for greenness, but this difference narrows significantly after our information treatment, as the non-green-complex dwellers' willingness-to-pay for greenness increases dramatically. This inspiring result suggests that Chinese urban households will be encouraged to purchase green housing if they are provided more reliable and concrete information.
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