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Today's perfect - tomorrow's standard

  • KÃ¥gström, Jonas
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    In this study the mechanisms influencing recycling rates around the system maximum are deliberated. On the one hand, Policies, System design and how Citizens understand the two aforementioned are pitted against each other. This is done in a setting where individual rewards from action are in turn set against the values of the community and the compliance measures/social marketing of recycling companies and policy makers. This is the dynamic setting of this dissertation. In the past much research into recycling has been focused on how to get recycling started. Sweden is in a bit of a different position with recycling levels often being very high in an international comparison. This means other challenges face citizens and policy makers alike. The determinants influencing recycling rates are studied and compared to contemporary research. Policy makers and social marketers that wish to see a system used to its fullest need to understand the determinants that remain to be influenced near the system optimum. The studied recycling system points to a trichotomy of determinants influencing recycling rates. Social or public marketing being one part; the community's understanding of recycling being a second part, and individual knowledge and understanding forming the third. Successive elimination of potential determinants in a Zwicky box, using statistical analysis, indicates that strengthening individual autonomy and ability to participate efficiently remains as the key to further and sustainable development in the field. The study suggests compliance rates can still be improved upon, even when recycling rates are in excess of 80%, although methods might have to change. Instead of an oft used emphasis on coercive compliance and "scare tactics", a careful study and propagation of the recycling techniques developed by the many efficient citizens is pivotal. In addition, further improvements in terms of recycling facilitation may offer policy makers a sustainable path to near system optimal recycling rates.

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    File URL: http://pub.epsilon.slu.se/8120/
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    Paper provided by Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics in its series Department of Economics publications with number 8120.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:sua:ekonwp:8120
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    1. Pieper, Torsten M., 2010. "Non solus: Toward a psychology of family business," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 26-39, March.
    2. Harris, Jared D. & Sapienza, Harry J. & Bowie, Norman E., 2009. "Ethics and entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 407-418, September.
    3. Barr, Stewart & Gilg, Andrew W & Ford, Nicholas, 2005. "The household energy gap: examining the divide between habitual- and purchase-related conservation behaviours," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 1425-1444, July.
    4. Gilg, Andrew & Barr, Stewart, 2006. "Behavioural attitudes towards water saving? Evidence from a study of environmental actions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 400-414, May.
    5. Annegrete Bruvoll & Karine Nyborg, 2002. "On the value of households' recycling efforts," Discussion Papers 316, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
    6. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
    7. Bentham, Jeremy, 1781. "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number bentham1781.
    8. Heleen Bartelings & Thomas Sterner, 1999. "Household Waste Management in a Swedish Municipality: Determinants of Waste Disposal, Recycling and Composting," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(4), pages 473-491, June.
    9. Pugno, Maurizio, 2008. "Economics and the self: A formalisation of self-determination theory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1328-1346, August.
    10. Berglund, Christer, 2006. "The assessment of households' recycling costs: The role of personal motives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 560-569, April.
    11. Hornik, Jacob & Cherian, Joseph & Madansky, Michelle & Narayana, Chem, 1995. "Determinants of recycling behavior: A synthesis of research results," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 105-127.
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