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Owen Presents Paper at Brown University

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Ann Owen, associate professor of economics and director of the Levitt Center's Sustainability Program, presented a paper she wrote with economics professors Julio Videras and Stephen Wu at Brown University on Feb. 14. The paper, "More Information Isn't Always Better: The Case of the Voluntary Provision of Environmental Quality" examines how individuals' beliefs about the impact of their actions is related to their behavior. 

The authors found that most people have inaccurate information about the impact of their actions, but their behavior is consistent with their beliefs. Because some people overestimate the impact of their individual efforts, an interesting policy conclusion is that the effect of more accurate information is ambiguous. The work was supported by the Blue Moon Fund and is one of the faculty research projects within the Levitt Center's Sustainability Program. The authors used original survey data collected by Owen, Videras and Wu in fall 2007.

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