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Recycling: Social norms and warm-glow revisited

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

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 90 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 10-18

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:90:y:2013:i:c:p:10-18
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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