Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Which policy instrument do citizens and civil servants prefer? A choice experiment on Swedish marine policy.

Ek, Claes; Elofsson, Katarina; Lagerkvist, Carl-Johan


In the choice between alternative environmental policy instruments, economists tend to favor policies capable of attaining cost-efficiency, but other considerations may be more important to stakeholders. We perform a choice experiment modeled on Swedish water and marine policy to estimate preferences for different policy instruments among citizens and municipal civil servants. Both the modal citizen and the modal civil servant prefer direct regulation and subsidies to nutrient trading. Moreover, nutrient trading is unlikely to deliver sufficiently large cost savings for civil servants to prefer it to other instruments. These results are consistent with the apparent reluctance to adopt water quality trading in Europe.


Choice experiments; Instrument choice; Nutrient trading; Policy acceptance; Marine policy

Published in

Q open
2022, Volume: 2, number: 1, article number: qoac002