IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v149y2018icp105-119.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How Green Self Image is Related to Subjective Well-Being: Pro-Environmental Values as a Social Norm

Author

Listed:
  • Welsch, Heinz
  • Kühling, Jan

Abstract

Recent literature has found that individuals holding a greener self-image display higher levels of life satisfaction. We extend the single-country setting of that research to a transnational perspective and explore whether a relationship exists between green self-image (GSI) and life satisfaction (LS), both European-wide and at the national level. In order to explain differences in the GSI-LS relationship across nations and time, we study the role of pro-environmental values as a shared social norm. We find a significantly positive GSI-LS relationship in a pool of 35 European countries and in the majority of individual countries. In addition, we show that the well-being benefit of holding a green self-image is greater in societies that display more unanimity with respect to pro-environmental attitudes. Invoking the notion of social norms as shared agreements about what is appropriate and inappropriate, we take the latter finding to indicate that part of the well-being benefit from holding pro-environmental values derives from conformity to a social norm.

Suggested Citation

  • Welsch, Heinz & Kühling, Jan, 2018. "How Green Self Image is Related to Subjective Well-Being: Pro-Environmental Values as a Social Norm," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 105-119.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:105-119
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.03.002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800917314179
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Heinz Welsch & Jan Kühling, 2016. "Green status seeking and endogenous reference standards," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(4), pages 625-643, October.
    2. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
    3. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
    4. Binder, Martin & Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin, 2017. "Green lifestyles and subjective well-being: More about self-image than actual behavior?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 304-323.
    5. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    6. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    7. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
    8. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, July.
    9. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
    10. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Kverndokk, Snorre & Nyborg, Karine, 2003. "An economic model of moral motivation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1967-1983, September.
    11. Jan Delhey, 2010. "From Materialist to Post-Materialist Happiness? National Affluence and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Cross-National Perspective," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 97(1), pages 65-84, May.
    12. Welsch, Heinz & Kühling, Jan, 2011. "Are pro-environmental consumption choices utility-maximizing? Evidence from subjective well-being data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 75-87.
    13. Videras, Julio & Owen, Ann L. & Conover, Emily & Wu, Stephen, 2012. "The influence of social relationships on pro-environment behaviors," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 35-50.
    14. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    15. Lindbeck, Assar, 1997. "Incentives and Social Norms in Household Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 370-377, May.
    16. DESMET, Klaus & ORTUNO-ORTIN, Ignacio & WEBER, Shlomo, 2005. "Peripheral diversity and redistribution," CORE Discussion Papers 2005044, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    17. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2009. "Linguistic Diversity and Redistribution," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1291-1318, December.
    18. Kirk Brown & Tim Kasser, 2005. "Are Psychological and Ecological Well-being Compatible? The Role of Values, Mindfulness, and Lifestyle," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 349-368, November.
    19. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    20. Heinz Welsch & Jan Kühling, 2017. "Pan-European patterns of environmental concern: the role of proximity and international integration," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 7(4), pages 473-489, December.
    21. Videras Julio R & Owen Ann L, 2006. "Public Goods Provision and Well-Being: Empirical Evidence Consistent with the Warm Glow Theory," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-40, April.
    22. Heinz Welsch & Jan Kuehling, 2017. "Divided We Stand: Immigration Attitudes, Identity, and Subjective Well-Being," Working Papers V-401-17, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2017.
    23. Welsch, Heinz & Kühling, Jan, 2010. "Pro-environmental behavior and rational consumer choice: Evidence from surveys of life satisfaction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 405-420, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Binder, Martin & Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin & Guardiola, Jorge, 2020. "Does it have to be a sacrifice? Different notions of the good life, pro-environmental behavior and their heterogeneous impact on well-being," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C).
    2. Shengqin Zheng & Ke Xu & Qing He & Shaoze Fang & Lin Zhang, 2018. "Investigating the Sustainability Performance of PPP-Type Infrastructure Projects: A Case of China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(11), pages 1-15, November.
    3. Herziger, Atar & Claborn, Kelly A. & Brooks, Jeremy S., 2020. "Is There Hope for the Double Dividend? How Social Context Can Shape Synergies and Tradeoffs between Sustainable Consumption and Well-Being," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C).
    4. Amel Attour & Marco Baudino & Jackie Krafft & Nathalie Lazaric, 2020. "Determinants of smart energy tracking application use at the city level: Evidence from France," Post-Print hal-02942483, HAL.
    5. Martin Binder & Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg & Heinz Welsch, 2019. "Pro-environmental norms and subjective well-being: panel evidence from the UK," Working Papers V-417-19, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2019.
    6. Binder, Martin & Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin & Welsch, Heinz, 2019. "Peer influences and proenvironmental behavior: Panel evidence for the role of regional prevalence and diversity," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 367, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    7. Grace Ibe-enwo & Nicholas Igbudu & Zanete Garanti & Temitope Popoola, 2019. "Assessing the Relevance of Green Banking Practice on Bank Loyalty: The Mediating Effect of Green Image and Bank Trust," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(17), pages 1-16, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Green self-image; Subjective well-being; Life satisfaction; Social norm; Social division;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:105-119. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.