Are American households willing to pay a premium for greening consumption of Information and Communication Technology?
The United States lags other nations in adapting policy approaches that would stimulate cleaner consumption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by limiting the use of potentially toxic materials in electronics production. This study analyzes nationally-representative U.S. data from a unique web-based survey to investigate whether American households are willing to support greening the ICT devices by paying a premium for a green cell phone. Green cell phone does not contain hazardous materials and can be safely disposed with general municipal waste. A survey-based economic technique of contingent valuation was utilized to examine the relationship between socio-psychological and economic parameters for evaluating and explaining a stated willingness to pay a green phone premium, controlling for socio-economic and demographic characteristics. The findings indicate that respondents with higher scores on general environmental beliefs, greater engagement in pro-environmental behavior, and positive attitudes toward recycling small electronics are likely to be willing to pay a premium to purchase a green cell phone compared to a conventional cell phone with similar capabilities. This suggests that educating the public about benefits of electronics recycling, promoting pro-environmental norms, and encouraging pro-environmental behavior can help increase public support for implementing policies aimed at greening ICT production and consumption in the United Sates.