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Environmental concerns, volunteering and subjective well-being: Antecedents and outcomes of environmental activism in Germany

Martin Binder () and Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg

Ecological Economics, 2016, vol. 124, issue C, 1-16

Abstract: Do perceptions about the state of the environment impact on individuals' well-being and do they lead to environmental activism? While the impact of objective features of the environment (e.g., pollution, parks) is well-researched, the present paper fills a research gap by analyzing how concerns about the environment impact on subjective well-being. Based on German panel data (SOEP) for the years 1984–2012, we show that egoistic concerns have a negative impact on subjective well-being while altruistic concerns are positively associated with well-being, an effect likely driven by omitting variables for environmental activism such as volunteer work. We show that environmental concerns also lead to an increased propensity to volunteer and such volunteering is positively associated with well-being, but only for those who are very concerned about the environment.

Keywords: Life satisfaction; Environmental concerns; Volunteering; SOEP (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I31 Q51 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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