Ecolabels are becoming popular in China. It is hoped that environmental benefits can be achieved by changing consumer purchasing behavior, and that using ecolabels can be a part of this behavior change. It is not clear whether this outcome will be achieved in China although ecolabeling appears to be an effective environmental instrument in developed countries. This study aimed to understand whether Chinese consumers are willing to pay for ecolabels and how their willingness to pay (WTP) is determined. Accordingly, the study found that (1) Chinese consumers are willing to pay more for products that are labeled as having greater energy efficiency (Energy Efficiency Label) or for products that use more environmentally friendly production processes (Environmental Label); (2) consumers show a higher WTP for energy efficiency labels when more information is provided to consumers on the public benefits of using energy-saving products; (3) it does not matter whether the labels are issued by the Chinese government or by a nongovernmental organization; (4) the coexistence of multiple labels on the same product waters down the effectiveness of all the labels; and (5) when the estimation was calibrated, consumer WTP for ecolabels significantly decreased, which demonstrates that researchers should be cautious about generalizing the first observation.
Consumer Willingness to Pay for Ecolabels in China