Fuqua School of Business
Durham, NC 27706
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|December 2009||Discontinuous Behavioral Responses to Recycling Laws and Plastic Water Bottle Deposits|
with W. Kip Viscusi, Joel Huber, Caroline Cecot: w15585
Economic theory predicts that individual recycling behavior gravitates toward extremes--either diligent recycling or no recycling at all. Using a nationally representative sample of 3,158 bottled water users, this article finds that this prediction is borne out for consumer recycling of plastic water bottles. Both water bottle deposits and recycling laws foster recycling through a discontinuous effect that converts reluctant recyclers into diligent recyclers. Within this context, a number of factors influencing recycling emerge. The warm glow from being both an environmentalist and an environmental group member is about equal to the monetary value of 5 cent bottle deposits. Respondents from states with stringent recycling laws and bottle deposits have greater recycling rates. Consiste...
Published: "Discontinuous Behavioral Responses to Recycling Laws and Plastic Water Bottle Deposits," with Joel Huber, Jason Bell, and Caroline Cecot, American Law and Economics Review, Vol. 15, No. 1 (Spring 2013), pp. 110-155. citation courtesy of