Using a choice experiment conducted among more than a thousand Swiss consumers, we analyze the individual demand for voluntary carbon offsets in different contexts. The analysis is used to identify the consumers’ underlying motives for offsetting emissions, the context effects on their willingness to pay and the influence of the offsetting project characteristics on their propensity for contribution. Furthermore, the characteristics of potential buyers as well as the possibilities of behavioral rebound are explored. To support our results, we assess whether the hypothetical preferences are consistent with the revealed behavior. The adopted latent class model accounts for heterogeneity of preferences with respect to offset products offered in the market. The results provide a quantitative assessment of consumers’ marginal valuation of carbon offsets and a better understanding of individual preferences. The results also point to strong heterogeneity among individuals favoring targeted policy measures to induce voluntary contribution.
Blasch, J., & Farsi, M. (2012). Retail Demand for Voluntary Carbon Offsets – A Choice Experiment Among Swiss Consumers. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2145267