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Green behavioral (in)consistencies: are pro-environmental behaviors in different domains substitutes or complements?

Sandra Schusser, Sciprofile linkGoran Bostedt
Published: 20 June 2019
Environmental Economics , Volume 10, pp 23-47; doi:10.21511/ee.10(1).2019.03

Abstract: Households’ consumption patterns and behaviors have profound influence on natural resources and environmental quality. This paper explores whether environmental behaviors and willingness to pay (WTP) in the household domains transport, energy consumption and water consumption are substitutes or complements. Using a cross-country data set from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Survey on Environmental Attitudes and Behavior from 2008, a random-effects (ordered) probit model is used to answer this question for the following countries: Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, Italy, and South Korea. It is found that in most countries, actual environmental behaviors are substitutes, while WTP for environmental public goods in different domains is mostly complementary. Grounding in these results, policies aiming to encourage overall environmentally friendly lifestyles should therefore be all-encompassing of several public domains, instead of individual ones, to avoid the risk of negative spillovers.
Keywords: survey / model / public / WTP / substitutes / Environmental Behaviors / Different Domains

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