The Cultural Transmission of Environmental Preferences: Evidence from International Migration
This paper theoretically and empirically advances the hypothesis that differences in environmental preferences can be traced to cultural differences. In particular, we argue that environmental attitudes such as the willingness to pay for the environment are not solely the effect of local environmental conditions on individual attitudes. On the contrary, we establish that they can also be accounted for by cultural differences accross countries. To establish our hypothesis we exploit the natural experiment of international migration flows and establish that the environmental culture of migrants, as has been formed in their country of origin and transmitted accross generations, is still prevalent in the host country. Interestingly these culture differences with respect to environmental awareness are prevalent despite the fact that all migrants in a host country are exposed to the same local environment. In the presence of multiple environmental problems that require collective action, comprehending the driving forces behind the formation of an environmental culture, a potential driver of environmental policies, is critical.
|Date of creation:||2014|
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