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Personal norms of sustainability and their impact on management – The case of rangeland management in semi-arid regions

Author

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  • Roland Olbrich

    () (Department of Sustainability Sciences and Department of Economics, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany)

  • Martin F. Quaas

    (Department of Economics, University of Kiel, Germany)

  • Stefan Baumgaertner

    (Department of Sustainability Sciences and Department of Economics, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany)

Abstract

We empirically study personal norms of sustainability, conceptualized according to the normactivation theory and operationalized under the notion of strong ecological-economic sustainability, for commercial cattle farmers in semi-arid rangelands of Namibia, a system that is subject to extensive degradation. We characterize farmers’ personal norms, study their determinants, and analyze their impact on actual management based on the dual-preferences model. We find personal norms of sustainability that are heterogeneous across farmers, but vary little with socio-demographic or environmental characteristics. We find no evidence for a significant impact of personal norms on actual management behavior, which may be due to farmers not feeling capable for averting adverse long-term consequences of their management. This may contribute to the observed degradation of rangelands in Namibia.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgaertner, 2011. "Personal norms of sustainability and their impact on management – The case of rangeland management in semi-arid regions," Working Paper Series in Economics 209, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:209
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2009. "Sustainable use of ecosystem services under multiple risks – a survey of commercial cattle farmers in semi-arid rangelands in Namibia," Working Paper Series in Economics 137, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgaertner, 2012. "Characterizing commercial cattle farms in Namibia: risk, management and sustainability," Working Paper Series in Economics 248, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    commercial cattle farming; Namibia; norm-activation theory; personal norms; dual-preferences model; semi-arid rangelands; sustainability;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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