Monday, January 25, 2010
"Further, an informed respondent is one who knows the benefits and negative externalities of a public good, and it therefore becomes easier for the respondent to accurately assess the maximum amount he/she is willing to pay for a good. Research has also demonstrated that informing respondents of the negative externalities of a good on society prior to surveying has a higher impact on the marginal WTP estimate than does informing respondents of the societal benefits of the good (Marette et al., 2004) That is, people respond more to the harm a good can cause than to the benefits that good may bring to society."
This makes me think about creating negative laws - can't do this, can't do that - rather than positive laws - must do this, must do that. This bears some resemblance to libertarian or Hayek-style laws for regulating the economy and other human affairs. There's some sense to it. Not being able to do something doesn't feel as controlling to people as having to do something.
With the exception, perhaps, of gun control. Hm, this needs further consideration....