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The Determinants of Environmental Awareness and Behavior

Quentin M. Duroy ()
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Quentin M. Duroy: Department of Economics, Higley Hall, Denison University, Granville OH 43023, USA

Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of environmental values across countries. Its purpose is to put the role of economic affluence into perspective by challenging the conventional wisdom that states that the level of economic affluence influences the level of environmental concern expressed by the population. While this paper does not question the fact that large scale environmental defensive activities are likely to be influenced by the level of income in a country, it is hypothesized that environmental awareness and individual involvement in environmental protection need not be a function of the level of economic affluence. To test this hypothesis, three variables are created-Positive Environmental Attitudes, Willingness to Pay to Protect the Environment, and Human-Environment Relationship-using data from the World Values Survey (1995-1997). The variables are regressed against a set of economic, demographic, political, psychological and education variables. The results show that economic affluence has, at best, a marginal direct influence on environmental awareness and no direct impact on environmental behavior. The paper demonstrates that the degree of urbanization, the level of subjective well-being and the level of income equality have direct effects on awareness, while education, population pressure and happiness are significantly correlated with environmental behavior.

JEL-codes: Q56 Q57 O50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env and nep-pol
Date: 2005-01
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