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Recycling: Social norms and warm-glow revisited

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  • Abbott, Andrew
  • Nandeibam, Shasikanta
  • O'Shea, Lucy

Abstract

We examine the role of social norms and warm-glow in a theoretical framework and establish that improving the quality of recycling facilities, for example through kerbside collection, will elicit more recycling effort if warm-glow is present. Drawing on the literature, we model the role of social norms with reference to age profile, ethnicity and geographical location of the reference group. Using English local authority data, we show that a social norm for recycling does exist. We find the expected relationship between the quality of kerbside provision and recycling activity, if the household derives warm-glow from the activity; however, it is insignificant. Amongst the control variables, we find evidence that multifamily dwellings recycle less.

Suggested Citation

  • Abbott, Andrew & Nandeibam, Shasikanta & O'Shea, Lucy, 2013. "Recycling: Social norms and warm-glow revisited," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 10-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:90:y:2013:i:c:p:10-18
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.02.015
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    2. Alessio D'Amato & Susanna Mancinelli & Mariangela Zoli, 2014. "Two Shades of (Warm) Glow: multidimensional intrinsic motivation, waste reduction and recycling," SEEDS Working Papers 2114, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Aug 2014.
    3. D'Amato, Alessio & Mancinelli, Susanna & Zoli, Mariangela, 2016. "Complementarity vs substitutability in waste management behaviors," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 84-94.
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    5. Cecere, Grazia & Mancinelli, Susanna & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2014. "Waste prevention and social preferences: the role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 163-176.
    6. Abbott, Andrew & Nandeibam, Shasikanta & O'Shea, Lucy, 2017. "The Displacement Effect of Convenience: The Case of Recycling," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 159-168.
    7. Mikołaj Czajkowski & Nick Hanley & Karine Nyborg, 2014. "Social norms, morals and self-interest as determinants of pro-environment behaviour," Working Papers 2014-17, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    8. Elbert Dijkgraaf & Raymond Gradus, 2016. "Post Separation of Plastic Waste: Better for the Environment and Lower Collection Costs," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-103/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    9. Heller, Marit H. & Vatn, Arild, 2017. "The divisive and disruptive effect of a weight-based waste fee," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 275-285.
    10. Laure Kuhfuss & Raphaële Préget & Sophie Thoyer & Frans P. de Vries & Nick Hanley, 2017. "Nudging Participation and Spatial Agglomeration in Payment for Environmental Service Schemes," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2017-11, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    11. Martha A. Starr, 2015. "The Economics of Ethical Consumption," Working Papers 2015-01, American University, Department of Economics.
    12. Alistair Ulph & David Ulph, 2014. "Consumption Decisions When People Value Conformity," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201414, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intrinsic motives; Recycling; Social norms; Warm-glow;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods

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