Date of Award

8-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Economics

Advisor

Fleck, Robert K

Committee Member

Hanssen , F Andrew

Committee Member

Templeton , Scott

Abstract

The increasing popularity of eco-labeled products has given rise to numerous studies showing that consumers will pay more for eco-labeled products than for similar non-labeled products. One such pairing is hybrid vehicles and traditional combustion engine vehicles. This analysis is the first attempt at identifying a willingness to pay for the hybrid vehicle label in excess of the willingness to pay for fuel economy and reduced vehicle emissions. In this analysis I apply a hedonic price model to new vehicle data from 2012, and also analyze county-level vehicle registration data from Oregon. The hedonic price analysis shows that, for given levels of fuel consumption and vehicle emissions, consumers pay more for a vehicle bearing the hybrid label. The Oregon analysis shows that areas with higher proportions of environmentalists have higher proportions of hybrid cars, even in locations that are not suited to hybrid use. Together, these results suggest that consumers will pay more for a vehicle that bears the hybrid label because that label increases the owner's social status in the environmental community and conveys to others the strength of the owner's environmental commitment.

Included in

Economics Commons

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