The Socioeconomic Determinants of Individual Environmental Concern: Evidence from Shanghai Data
This study examines the influence of socioeconomic characteristics on eleven measures of environmental concern by applying a pooled sample of 1200 individuals in Shanghai, China. Previous studies, which made efforts to explain environmental concern as a function of social structure, suggest that there are traditionally five hypotheses (the age, gender, social class, residence, and political hypotheses) for socioeconomic determinants, which are associated with individual environmental concerns. Unlike those methodologies adopted in many previous studies, we apply an ordered probit model to test three hypotheses (the age, gender, and social class hypotheses) in this study. As a result, high income and high education level are found to be positively related to environmental concern as expected. However, we find that in contrast to most of the existing studies, the marginal effect of age on the probability of being environmentally concerned is positive in several measures, implying that the older are more concerned about the environment than the younger. In addition, weak evidences indicate that women are less concerned about the environment than men. Other socioeconomic characteristics such as employment status and household size are not significant in most of the environmental concern measures we defined.
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