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Identity and Environmentalism: The Influence of Community Characteristics


  • Ann Owen
  • Julio Videras
  • Stephen Wu


This paper examines the influence of community characteristics on self-proclaimed environmentalism. We find that the composition of a community affects the likelihood that a person claims to be a strong environmentalist even after controlling for individual political leaning, socio-economic characteristics, and pro-environment behaviors. Individuals are more likely to claim to be strong environmentalists if they live in areas where a larger share of the population has post-graduate degrees, if they live in heavily Democratic areas, or if they live in heavily Republican areas. These community effects occur only when individuals are predisposed to take on an environmental identity.

Suggested Citation

  • Ann Owen & Julio Videras & Stephen Wu, 2010. "Identity and Environmentalism: The Influence of Community Characteristics," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 68(4), pages 465-486.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:68:y:2010:i:4:p:465-486 DOI: 10.1080/00346760903480533

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    2. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
    3. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
    4. Erling Holden, 2004. "Towards sustainable consumption: do green households have smaller ecological footprints?," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(1), pages 44-58.
    5. Thogersen, John & Olander, Folke, 2002. "Human values and the emergence of a sustainable consumption pattern: A panel study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 605-630, October.
    6. Ann L. Owen & Julio Videras & Stephen Wu, 2012. "More Information Is Not Always Better: The Case Of Voluntary Provision Of Environmental Quality," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(3), pages 585-603, July.
    7. Berrens, Robert P. & Bohara, Alok K. & Jenkins-Smith, Hank C. & Silva, Carol L. & Weimer, David L., 2004. "Information and effort in contingent valuation surveys: application to global climate change using national internet samples," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 331-363, March.
    8. Kotchen, Matthew J. & Moore, Michael R., 2007. "Private provision of environmental public goods: Household participation in green-electricity programs," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-16, January.
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    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:304-323 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    identity; environmentalism; community;

    JEL classification:

    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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