Do we care about sustainability? An analysis of time sensitivity of social preferences under environmental time-persistent effects
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Environmental cost-benefit analysis has traditionally assumed that the value of benefits is sensitive to their timing and that outcomes are valued higher, the sooner in time they occur following implementation of a project or policy. Though, this assumption might have important implications especially for the social desirability of interventions aiming at counteracting time-persistent environmental problems, whose impacts occur in the long- and very long-term, respectively involving the present and future generations. This study analyzes the time sensitivity of social preferences for preservation policies of adaptation to climate change stresses. Results show that stated preferences are time insensitive, due to sustainability issues: individuals show insignificant differences in benefits they can experience within their own lifetimes compared to those which occur in the longer term, and which will instead be enjoyed by future generations. Whilst these results may be specific to the experimental design employed here, they do raise interesting questions regarding choices over time-persistent environmental problems, particularly in terms of the desirability of interventions which produce longer-term benefits.
Faccioli , M , Hanley , N , Torres , C & Font , A R 2016 , ' Do we care about sustainability? An analysis of time sensitivity of social preferences under environmental time-persistent effects ' Journal of Environmental Management , vol 177 , pp. 356-364 . DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.03.039
Journal of Environmental Management
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.03.039
This research work has been conducted under the Training Program for University Professors of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (AP2010-3810). The authors are also grateful for the funds awarded by the Government of the Balearic Islands through the Special Action Program (AAEE025/2012) and for the financial support from the CICYT Program of the Spanish Government (ECO2010-22143).
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