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Does Emigration Affect Pro‐environmental Behaviour Back Home? A Long‐Term, Local‐Level Perspective

Artjoms Ivlevs ()

Kyklos, 2021, vol. 74, issue 1, 48-76

Abstract: This study provides novel evidence on the effects of emigration on pro‐environmental behaviour back home. Focusing on the seven successor states of former Yugoslavia, I explore the relationship between people’s present‐day pro‐environmental action and the local‐level intensity of a major guestworker emigration wave that occurred four decades earlier. I find that more intense local‐level emigration is associated with a lower likelihood of pro‐environmental action; the instrumental variable analysis supports the causal nature of this relationship. This finding supports the conjecture that emigration contributes to greater consumerism at home and therefore reduces pro‐environmental behaviour. At the same time, controlling for the intensity of local‐level emigration, a higher proportion of women in the local migrant population is associated with a greater likelihood of pro‐environmental action. As women are generally more likely to undertake pro‐environmental behaviour as well as transfer new norms and practices across borders, this finding supports the hypothesis that migration contributes to a cross‐border transmission of pro‐environmental norms and practices.

Date: 2021
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Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:74:y:2021:i:1:p:48-76