Facoltà di scienze economiche

Using a choice experiment to estimate the benefits of a reduction of externalities in urban areas with special focus on electrosmog

Banfi, Silvia ; Filippini, Massimo ; Horehájováa, Andrea

In: Applied economics, 2012, vol. 44, no. 3, p. 387-397

Traffic noise, air pollution and electromagnetic pollution (i.e. non-ionizing radiation, also called electrosmog) are typical negative local externalities in urban areas. They are side-effects of human and economic activity (e.g. road transport, telecommunication) and they affect individuals’ well-being negatively without compensation. In recent years, the increased number of mobile phone... Plus

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    Summary
    Traffic noise, air pollution and electromagnetic pollution (i.e. non-ionizing radiation, also called electrosmog) are typical negative local externalities in urban areas. They are side-effects of human and economic activity (e.g. road transport, telecommunication) and they affect individuals’ well-being negatively without compensation. In recent years, the increased number of mobile phone antennas in residential areas, and thus the increased intensity of radiated power, has aroused public concern, discussions and protests. The view of an antenna is annoying an increasing number of inhabitants. In this paper, the stated Choice Experiment (CE) is used to estimate the Willingness To Pay (WTP) residents in the cities of Zurich and Lugano place on the reduction of these three environmental loads. Estimation results reveal that there is a positive and significant WTP for a reduction of air pollution and traffic noise levels to those limit values fixed by the government. Respondents also show WTP for reducing electrosmog and removing mobile phone antennas from their view, however to a lesser extent. In addition, this is the first study that estimates the benefit of a reduction of electrosmog using a CE.