Pro‐environmental behavior: Social norms, intrinsic motivation and external conditions

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Abstract

Pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs) have been linked in the literature to social
norms, intrinsic motivation and external conditions. However, no study has jointly
analyzed these factors on a cross-country dataset and given a holistic explanation of
the variance observed in the adoption rates of PEBs across countries. Using a dataset
measuring individual adoption of eight PEBs in the European Union's 28 member
states (in 2018), we econometrically test these three groups of factors on a wider
scale. We assess the importance of intrinsic motivation as a dominant factor and
show how differing levels of intrinsic motivation influence the effectiveness of external
conditions, such as monetary incentives and green infrastructures. The results
suggest that two-pronged policies, which take into account intrinsic motivation and
external conditions, are needed to reach a high observance rate in the population in
the short and in the long term. The wider significance of these results for policy is
discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Policy and Governance
Early online date27 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • BELIEFS
  • COOPERATION
  • ELECTRICITY
  • EXPLORATION
  • HOUSEHOLDS
  • PARTICIPATION
  • POLICIES
  • WASTE PREVENTION
  • economic incentives
  • environmental attitudes
  • green infrastructure
  • intrinsic motivation
  • pro-environmental behavior

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