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Green lifestyles and subjective well-being: More about self-image than actual behavior?

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  • Binder, Martin
  • Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin

Abstract

Does environmentally-friendly behavior necessarily imply sacrifice? In the metric of subjective well-being, research has shown that green behavior and sustainable consumption are positively related to life satisfaction. We extend this research analyzing UKHLS household panel data for Great Britain, showing that this boost in life satisfaction is mostly due to self-image (i.e. one's own assessment of how environmentally-friendly one's behavior is) but not due to concrete pro-environmental behaviors such as conserving water, recycling and so on. We further show that green self-image increases the extent and intensity of green behavior yet even the greenest (self-identified) individuals do not consistently exhibit all pro-environmental behaviors. By this, our data can be used to assess the varying extent of a value-action gap for different pro-environmental behaviors for our sample.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:304-323
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.03.009
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:290-303 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Martin Binder, 2017. "Entrepreneurial Success and Subjective Well-Being: Worries about the Business Explain One's Well-Being Loss from Self-Employment," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 947, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. 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.
    4. repec:eee:ecolec:v:143:y:2018:i:c:p:130-140 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:ecolec:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:105-119 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sustainability; Green lifestyle; Environmentally-friendly behavior; Subjective well-being; UKHLS;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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