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The Socioeconomic Determinants of Individual Environmental Concern: Evidence from Shanghai Data


  • Junyi Shen

    (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)

  • Tatsuyoshi Saijo

    (ISER, Osaka University)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Junyi Shen & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2007. "The Socioeconomic Determinants of Individual Environmental Concern: Evidence from Shanghai Data," OSIPP Discussion Paper 07E003, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:osp:wpaper:07e003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. H. Peter Witzke & Guido Urfei, 2001. "Willingness To Pay for Environmental Protection in Germany: Coping With the Regional Dimension," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 207-214.
    2. Lori M. Hunter & Alison Hatch & Aaron Johnson, 2004. "Cross-National Gender Variation in Environmental Behaviors," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 85(3), pages 677-694.
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    Cited by:

    1. Junyi Shen & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2007. "Does energy efficiency label alter consumers f purchase decision? A latent class approach on Shanghai data," OSIPP Discussion Paper 07E005, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
    2. Felix Richter & Malte Steenbeck & Markus Wilhelm, 2013. "Nuclear Accidents and Policy: Notes on Public Perception," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 590, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Mills, Bradford & Schleich, Joachim, 2012. "Residential energy-efficient technology adoption, energy conservation, knowledge, and attitudes: An analysis of European countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 616-628.
    4. Giovanis, Eleftherios & Ozdamar, Oznur, 2014. "Relationship between health status and recycling rates: Evidence from Great Britain," MPRA Paper 64405, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Socioeconomic determinants; Environmental Concern; Ordered Probit Model; Chinese;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • Q59 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Other

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