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Identity and Environmentalism: The Influence of Community Characteristics

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  • Ann Owen
  • Julio Videras
  • Stephen Wu

Abstract

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

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    1. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    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. 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.
    8. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wilfred Dolfsma & Deborah Figart & Robert McMaster & Martha Starr, 2012. "Promoting Research on Intersections of Economics, Ethics, and Social Values: Editorial," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 70(2), pages 155-163, June.
    2. Binder, Martin & Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin & Guardiola, Jorge, 2020. "Does it have to be a sacrifice? Different notions of the good life, pro-environmental behavior and their heterogeneous impact on well-being," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C).
    3. 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.
    4. Binder, Martin & Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin & Welsch, Heinz, 2019. "Peer influences and proenvironmental behavior: Panel evidence for the role of regional prevalence and diversity," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 367, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    5. Michael Carr & Aurelie Charles & Wilfred Dolfsma & Robert McMaster & Tonia Warnecke, 2015. "Effective Contributions to the Review of Social Economy and Social Economics—Editorial," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 73(2), pages 139-145, June.
    6. Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin & Alhusen, Harm, 2019. "On the determinants of pro-environmental behavior: A literature review and guide for the empirical economist," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 350, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    identity; environmentalism; community;
    All these keywords.

    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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