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Look at me Saving the Planet! The Imitation of Visible Green Behavior and its Impact on the Climate Value-Action Gap

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  • Babutsidze, Zakaria
  • Chai, Andreas

Abstract

Examining the regional distribution of 15 different Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Practices (MPs) across Australia, we study the tendency for consumers to imitate visible pro-environmental behavior in their local region. While there is a great deal of variation in the specific type of MPs adopted by consumers located in the same region, ANOVA results suggest that they tend to adopt a similar number of MPs as their neighbours. Using discrete choice modelling, our results suggest that this is due to the peer adoption of certain visible MPs, such as using public transport or car-pooling, encouraging agents to adopt other types of visible MPs. However, the character of this spillover is limited in that visible pro-environmental behavior does not appear to influence the adoption of non-visible MPs. We also find that social imitation patterns help individuals overcome the observed gap between their stated concern about climate change and their propensity to act on this concern, known as the climate ‘value-action’ gap. Policy implications for designing effective green nudges are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Babutsidze, Zakaria & Chai, Andreas, 2018. "Look at me Saving the Planet! The Imitation of Visible Green Behavior and its Impact on the Climate Value-Action Gap," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 290-303.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:290-303
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.10.017
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    Cited by:

    1. Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin & Alhusen, Harm, 2018. "On the determinants of pro-environmental behavior: A guide for further investigations," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 350, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    2. Francesco Vona, 2018. "Job losses and the political acceptability of climate policies : an amplified collective action problem," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7upb3pbvdn8, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Visible behaviourbehavior; Imitation; Value-action gap; Mitigation practices; Green nudges;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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