Conspicuous conservation: The Prius halo and willingness to pay for environmental bona fides

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This paper develops a theory of conspicuous conservation, a phenomenon related to conspicuous consumption in which individuals seek status through displays of austerity amid growing concern about environmental protection. We identify a statistically and economically significant conspicuous conservation effect in vehicle purchase decisions and estimate a mean willingness to pay for the green signal provided by the distinctively designed Toyota Prius in the range of $430-4200 depending upon the owner's location. Results are related to the growing literature on green markets and suggest that policy should target less conspicuous conservation investments that will be under-provided relative to those that confer a status benefit. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sexton, SE; Sexton, AL

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 67 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 303 - 317

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0449

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0095-0696

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jeem.2013.11.004

Citation Source

  • Scopus