Understanding how income influences willingness to pay for joint programs: A more equitable value measure for the less wealthy

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The preponderance of evidence from many studies is that less wealthy households are subjected to greater exposure per capita and in aggregate to air pollution, water pollution, and toxic wastes. It also is the case that the less wealthy are provided with a disproportionately low amount of other programs to enhance amenities provided by the natural environment, such as recreational resources and high-quality esthetic opportunities (both quality and quantity). However, to date, no study has quantified the scale of this effect on the less wealthy as compared to their more wealthy counterparts when it comes to policy choices made on the basis of benefits analysis. This study provides a new equity adjustment method to measure quantitatively the effect of this inequity in the case of public goods.

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© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Publisher’s version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.10.001

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Ecological Economics