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Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS)

ISSN: 2141-7024


Article Title:
Theoretical and Empirical Analyses of Citizens' Willingness to Pay: Ethical and Policy Implications for the Environment in United Arab Emirates
by Abdulfattah Yaghi and Madalla Alibeli

Exploring people's willingness to pay (WTP) in order to protect the environment has ethical dimensions in addition to its public policy relevance. People?s environmental behavior is considered a complicated reality as social, personal, economic, political, and regulatory factors influenced how a person respond to environmental issues. The present study analyzed WTP in light of four main environmental theories: (1) economic theory which suggests that environmental behavior is an outcome of rational decision making mechanisms where people calculate their gains and losses before they decide how to respond to any environmental issue, (2) attitude-behavior theory which posits that people may have positive or negative feelings and values toward the environment, however their actual behavior in interacting with their surrounding may differ from what they believe in, (3) public goods theory which suggests that clean air, clean water, and other environmentally essentialities are goods that have value and the government can regulates, and (4) altruism theory claims that altruistic people may spend money for the sake of protecting the environment even if the cost they pay is high. To this end, 1805 surveys were administered to a national random sample in United Arab Emirates. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses demonstrated that albeit environmental attitudes were generally positive and people were aware and concerned about the major international and national environmental challenges and problems, their willingness to pay extra in order to protect the environment within the country was conditional, fluctuating, and inconsistent; there was clear conditions which people posed before they could show willingness to pay. The citizens have perceived environmental problems as ?social? rather than ?personal?, thus they shifted its responsibility to the government (the other) and they refused to change their way of life or change their daily routines in order to preserve the clean air, water, energy, etc. The study found evidence that while the citizens trusted the government as a moral agent that does 'good' they were indeed over-depended on it to protect the environment with limited personal responsibility to contribute to that effort. The ethical and public policy implications of the findings were discussed and recommendations were outlined.
Keywords: willingness to pay; environment; attitudes; united arab emirates; logistic regression; policy
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