Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Economics

Committee Chair(s)

Arthur Caplan


Arthur Caplan


Charles Sims


Ryan Bosworth


My thesis offers one example of a cost associated with hypocrisy, environmental loss. Hypocrisy is defined as “the practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc., contrary to one’s real character or actual behavior” (Collins Dictionary, 2003). In order to measure hypocrisy two types of data are needed: (1) a measure of a person’s “professed standards” and (2) a measure of “actual behavior.” A study of the various ways in which hypocrisy affects an individual’s entire life is obviously beyond the scope of any single study. Therefore, my thesis demonstrates how hypocrisy, or hypocritical bias, can be measured with a single professed standard and actual behavior, namely environmental concern and use of non-reusable coffee/ tea cups (i.e., cardboard and plastic cups). A coffee or tea drinker who is very concerned for the environment should, if he eschews hypocritical bias, avoid the use of non-reusable cups when he purchases coffee/tea at a coffee shop. Individuals are given a hypocrisy score, calculated as a weighted average of non-reusable cups per number of trips to coffee shop per week and a respondent’s general concern for the environment (0=”unconcerned”, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1 = “very concerned”). A higher score (i.e., greater hypocrisy) is given to individuals who use relatively more non-renewable cups and yet profess to have a relatively higher concern for the environment. Controlling for need for convenience, laziness, and ignorance, in the econometric analysis we are able to isolate the marginal effect of hypocrisy on environmental cost of using non-reusable cups.



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