Social norms, morals and self-interest as determinants of pro-environment behaviours: the case of household recycling

Mikołaj Czajkowski, Nick Hanley, Karine Nyborg

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    117 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    This paper considers the role which selfish, moral and social incentives and pressures play in explaining the extent to which stated choices over pro-environment behaviours vary across individuals. The empirical context is choices over household waste contracts and recycling actions in Poland. A theoretical model is used to show how cost-based motives and the desire for a positive self and social image combine to determine the utility from alternative choices of recycling behaviour. We then describe a discrete choice experiment designed to empirically investigate the effects such drivers have on stated choices. A hybrid logit model is used to link statements over attitudes to recycling to choices, dealing with a potential endogeneity problem caused by the joint effects of un-observables on attitudes and choices. We find that a substantial share of our respondents prefer to sort their waste at home rather than in a central sorting facility. This preference is associated with a moral/intrinsic motivation, involving a belief that sorting at home is more thorough than central sorting.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)647-670
    Number of pages24
    JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
    Volume66
    Issue number4
    Early online date3 Sept 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

    Keywords

    • Recycling
    • Motives of pro-environment behaviour
    • Social norms
    • Discrete choice experiment

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