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Pan-European patterns of environmental concern: the role of proximity and international integration

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  • Heinz Welsch

    () (University of Oldenburg)

  • Jan Kühling

    () (University of Oldenburg)

Abstract

Abstract While previous literature has studied the characteristics of populations and nations that shape cross-national patterns of environmental concern, one feature that may affect such patterns has largely been neglected in those studies: countries’ connectedness. This paper uses data for more than 260,000 individuals in 34 European countries, 2002–2013, to study how nations’ geographic, cultural, institutional, and economic proximity affect cross-national differences in environment-related attitudes. Borrowing from the literature on international policy diffusion, we hypothesize that citizens have more similar environmental attitudes if their countries are more proximate along those dimensions. Controlling for countries’ demographic, economic, and environmental characteristics, we find that countries that are more proximate in terms of geography, common culture and institutions, and intensity of trade relations have more similar environmental attitudes. Though we find a general cross-national divergence of environmental attitudes over the period considered, cultural and institutional proximity attenuate or reverse this trend. The significant role of proximity and connectedness suggests that the prospects for international coordination of environmental policies are most favorable within sufficiently integrated sets of countries.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jenvss:v:7:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s13412-017-0441-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s13412-017-0441-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sandra T. Marquart-Pyatt, 2008. "Are There Similar Sources of Environmental Concern? Comparing Industrialized Countries," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1312-1335.
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    1. repec:eee:ecolec:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:105-119 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental preference; Environmental concern; Proximity; Connectedness; International integration;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Z31 - Other Special Topics - - Tourism Economics - - - Industry Studies

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