Unique survey data from a contingent valuation study conducted in three different countries (China, Sweden, and the United States) were used to investigate the ordinary citizen’s willingness to pay (WTP) for reducing CO2 emissions. We found that a large majority of the respondents in all three countries believe that the mean global temperature has increased over the last 100 years and that humans are responsible for the increase.
A smaller share of Americans, however, believes these statements, when compared to the Chinese and Swedes. A larger share of Americans is also pessimistic and believes that nothing can be done to stop climate change. We also found that Sweden has the highest WTP for reductions of CO2, while China has the lowest. Thus, even though the Swedes and Chinese are similar to each other in their attitudes toward climate change, they differ considerably in their WTP. When WTP is measured as a share of household income, the willingness to pay is the same for Americans and Chinese, while again higher for the Swedes.
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