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Environmental regulation of households: An empirical review of economic and psychological factors

Jeroen van den Bergh

Ecological Economics, 2008, vol. 66, issue 4, 559-574

Abstract: The literature on sustainable consumption and environmental regulation of household behavior is dominated by conceptual and normative approaches. As a result, many suggestions lack a firm empirical basis. To overcome this deficiency, econometric studies in three areas of environmentally relevant activities of households are reviewed: residential use of energy, generation of solid waste and recycling, and residential use of water. Next to price and income elasticities, attention is devoted to individual socio-economic features and psychological factors, such as attitudes, knowledge, perceptions and values. Potential psychological determinants and related insights are further examined by discussing a range of representative and illustrative statistical-psychological studies of environmental behavior. One important general finding is that there are very few empirical studies that systematically combine socio-economic and psychological determinants. A range of insights for environmental policy is derived, and research recommendations are offered.

Keywords: Attitude; Energy; use; Income; elasticity; Knowledge; Perception; Price; elasticity; Recycling; Waste; disposal; Water; use; D12; Q25; Q48; Q53; Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:66:y:2008:i:4:p:559-574