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Personal Norms of Sustainability and Farm Management Behavior

Author

Listed:
  • Roland Olbrich

    () (Department of Sustainability Science and Department of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, P.O. Box 2440, Lüneburg 21314, Germany)

  • Martin F. Quaas

    (Institute of Economics, University of Kiel, Olshausenstraße 40, Kiel 24118, Germany)

  • Stefan Baumgärtner

    () (Department of Sustainability Science and Department of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, P.O. Box 2440, Lüneburg 21314, Germany)

Abstract

We empirically study personal norms of sustainability, conceptualized according to the norm-activation theory and operationalized under the notion of strong ecological-economic sustainability. Our case study is commercial cattle farming in semi-arid rangelands of Namibia, a system that is subject to extensive degradation. Using survey data, we characterize farmers’ personal ecosystems and income norms, study their determinants, and analyze their impact on actual management based on the dual-preferences model. We find that ecosystem and income norms are heterogeneous across farmers and independent from each other. Furthermore, farmers with better environmental and financial farm conditions have more demanding norms. We find no evidence for a significant impact of norms on actual management, which provides an explanation for the observed degradation of the system.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2014. "Personal Norms of Sustainability and Farm Management Behavior," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(8), pages 1-28, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:6:y:2014:i:8:p:4990-5017:d:38902
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kjell Arne Brekke & Gorm Kipperberg & Karine Nyborg, 2010. "Social Interaction in Responsibility Ascription: The Case of Household Recycling," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(4), pages 766-784.
    2. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2012. "A Survey of Commercial Cattle Farmers in Semi-arid Rangelands of Namibia on Risk, Management and Sustainability," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 132(3), pages 463-471.
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    4. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2009. "Sustainable use of ecosystem services under multiple risks – a survey of commercial cattle farmers in semi-arid rangelands in Namibia," Working Paper Series in Economics 137, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
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    14. Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2011. "Optimal grazing management rules in semi-arid rangelands with uncertain rainfall," Working Paper Series in Economics 193, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Riccardo Testa & Anna Maria di Trapani & Filippo Sgroi & Salvatore Tudisca, 2014. "Economic Sustainability of Italian Greenhouse Cherry Tomato," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(11), pages 1-15, November.
    2. Jessica Ingenillem & Joachim Merz & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2014. "Determinants and interactions of sustainability and risk management of commercial cattle farmers in Namibia," Working Paper Series in Economics 304, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    personal norms; norm-activation theory; sustainability; dual-preferences model; semi-arid rangelands; commercial cattle farming;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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