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Doing more with less: Leveraging social norms and status concerns in encouraging conservation farm practices


  • Howley, Peter
  • Ocean, Neel


Using an online survey with randomisation, we illustrate how identity-based utility can be harnessed to encourage pro-environmental behaviours. Results show that providing farmers with an opportunity to demonstrate their ‘green credentials’ increases their intention of maintaining environmental practices by an average of 19%, while the use of descriptive norms increases intent to participate in a biodiversity activity by an average of 8%. Interventions such as these represent a low-cost, yet powerful supplement to traditional policy tools. New approaches for engendering behavioural change are likely to be particularly important in a UK context as the UK transitions out of the EU.

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  • Howley, Peter & Ocean, Neel, 2020. "Doing more with less: Leveraging social norms and status concerns in encouraging conservation farm practices," 94th Annual Conference, April 15-17, 2020, K U Leuven, Belgium (Cancelled) 303705, Agricultural Economics Society - AES.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc20:303705
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.303705

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    Cited by:

    1. Kuhfuss, Laure & Préget, Raphaële & Thoyer, Sophie & de Vries, Frans P. & Hanley, Nick, 2022. "Enhancing spatial coordination in payment for ecosystem services schemes with non-pecuniary preferences," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 192(C).

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    Agricultural and Food Policy; Environmental Economics and Policy; Farm Management;
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