This paper asks whether individuals consider the value that future generations will receive from environmental quality when deciding what level of environmental protection to provide. Using data on life expectancy, I develop two tests for altruism towards future generations. One, a test for strong altruism, asks whether individual motives are purely altruistic when deciding to provide environmental quality. The second, a test for weak altruism, combines an individual's concern for both self-interest and the interest of future generations. Using data from a Washington Post survey on environmental attitudes to implement the test, I find evidence of weak altruism. (JEL Q20).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Economics and Econometrics