Retail demand for voluntary carbon offsets – a choice experiment among Swiss consumers

Julia Blasch, Farsi Mehdi

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic


Using a choice experiment conducted among more than a thousand Swiss con-sumers, we analyze the individual demand for voluntary carbon offsets in different contexts. The analysis is used to explore the consumers' underlying motives for off-setting emissions and to identify the behavioral patterns in a variety of contexts. The experiment also allows an assessment whether the hypothetical preferences are consistent with the revealed behavior. The adopted discrete choice models account for heterogeneity of preferences especially regarding the willingness to pay for various offset products offered in the market. The results provide a quantitative assessment of consumers' marginal valuation of carbon offsets as well as a better understanding of behavioral responses, which could be used to design more effective markets for voluntary offsets. The paper's findings are also used to derive some general insights into the private provision of public goods in Switzerland.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIED working paper
Issue numberSeptember
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Carbon offsetting
  • Choice experiment
  • Consumer behavior
  • Climate change mitigation


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