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Waste Prevention and Social Preferences: The Role of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations

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  • Grazia Cecere

    (Institut Mines Télécom, Télécom Ecole de Management, Université Paris Sud France. France)

  • Susanna Mancinelli

    (University of Ferrara Italy)

  • Massimiliano Mazzanti

    (University of Ferrara, SEEDS & CERIS CNR, Italy)

Abstract

Though reduction is at the top of the waste management hierarchy, EU policies have historically introduced waste management incentives mainly concerning waste recovery and recycling, in addition to actions aimed at reducing disposal in landfills. Only very recently have EU policies started defining targets for waste reduction. Against this backdrop, we aim to examine whether individual behavior towards waste reduction is more strongly driven by extrinsic motivations such as social norms, or intrinsic motivations such as purely altruistic preferences. We exploit a large new survey that covers thousands of individuals for the EU27, to test the role of motivations when people are faced with collective management of the public good. We find that diverse motivations are behind the reduction of food waste: extrinsic motivations nevertheless increase the likelihood of producing more waste. Green consumption / recycling-oriented attitudes and individualistic thinking about waste management relate to ‘waste producers’. This shows that in order to go beyond a recycling-oriented society towards reduction of the source of waste externality – its generation – the nature of social preferences matters. Behavior patterns leading to waste reduction are less socially oriented, less exposed to peer pressure and more reliant upon purely ‘altruistic’ social attitudes. Policy makers should learn from the relevant insights on social behavior we here address if our societies aim to fully integrate the idea of waste reduction alongside recycling in the future.

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  • Grazia Cecere & Susanna Mancinelli & Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2013. "Waste Prevention and Social Preferences: The Role of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations," Working Papers 2013.44, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2013.44
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    Cited by:

    1. Alessio D'Amato & Susanna Mancinelli & Mariangela Zoli, 2014. "Two Shades of (Warm) Glow: multidimensional intrinsic motivation, waste reduction and recycling," SEEDS Working Papers 2114, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Aug 2014.
    2. FIORILLO, Damiano & SENATORE, Luigi, 2016. "Self Image and Environmental Attitude and Behavior," CELPE Discussion Papers 140, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
    3. Agnès Festré & Pierre Garrouste & Ankinée Kirakozian & Mira Toumi, 2017. "The Pen Might Be Mightier than the Sword: How Third-party Advice or Sanction Impacts on Pro-environmental Behavior," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-15, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, revised Aug 2017.
    4. D'Amato, Alessio & Mancinelli, Susanna & Zoli, Mariangela, 2016. "Complementarity vs substitutability in waste management behaviors," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 84-94.
    5. Damien BROUSSOLLE, 2017. "Quel Systeme Incitatif Realiste Pour La Politique De Reduction Des Dechets Menagers ? Enseignements Tires De La Litterature Economique Et Du Cas Français / What Workable Incentive Scheme For The Reduc," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2017-11, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    6. Fremstad, Anders, 2017. "Does Craigslist Reduce Waste? Evidence from California and Florida," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 135-143.
    7. Brian Chi-ang Lin & Siqi Zheng & Ankinée Kirakozian, 2016. "One Without The Other? Behavioural And Incentive Policies For Household Waste Management," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 526-551, July.
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    9. Salvia, Monica & Leo, Senatro Di & Nakos, Christos & Maras, Hrvoje & Panevski, Sashe & Fülöp, Orsolya & Papagianni, Stavroula & Tarevska, Zoia & Čeh, Danilo & Szabó, Eszter & Bodzsár, Borbala, 2015. "Creating a sustainable and resource efficient future: A methodological toolkit for municipalities," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 480-496.
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    12. Mariateresa Silvi & Emilio Padilla Rosa, 2017. "Pro-environmental behavior: On the interplay of intrinsic motivations and external conditions," Working Papers wpdea1703, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.

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    Keywords

    Intrinsic Motivations; Extrinsic Motivations; Social Norms; Recycling; Waste Reduction; Green Preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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