Perceptions of Quality and Household Water Usage: A Representative Study in Jacksonville, FL
When faced with the fear of low-quality tap water, households are motivated to seek out and use alternatives. This study investigated the role of quality perception and aesthetics on choices among three modes of household water usage: unfiltered tap water, filtered tap water, and bottled water. The data were based on a telephone survey of randomly selected households in Jacksonville, FL, conducted during March 2016. As the three modes of water usage were not mutually exclusive, a multivariate probit model was fitted and simultaneous parameter estimates were generated for each of three binary equations. The key results suggest that concerns regarding safety, contamination and sickness linked to unfiltered tap water are associated with increased bottled water usage in the home, but they have no effect on water filter usage. By contrast, complaints about foul-smelling water are associated with increased usage of water filters. In addition, the evidence implies that while water filter usage increases with household income, bottled water usage appears insensitive to changes in income. Finally, African-American households have a higher probability than other racial groups of using bottled water in the home, all else equal.
International Advances in Economic Research
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Triplett, R., Chatterjee, C., Johnson, C.K., Ahmed, P. (2019) Perceptions of Quality and Household Water Usage: A Representative Study in Jacksonville, FL. International Advances in Economic Research, 25(2), 195-208.