Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Oslo University, Department of Economics

No 18/2014: Social norms, Morals and Self-interest as Determinants of Pro-environment Behaviours

Mikolaj Czajkowski (), Nick Hanley () and Karine Nyborg ()
Additional contact information
Mikolaj Czajkowski: University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Poland
Nick Hanley: University of St Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development, UK,
Karine Nyborg: Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo, Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: This paper considers the role which selfish, moral and social incentives and pressures play in explaining the extent to which stated choices over pro-environment behaviours vary across individuals. The empirical context is choices over household waste contracts and recycling actions in Poland. A theoretical model is used to show how cost-based motives and the desire for a positive self- and social image combine to determine the utility from alternative choices of recycling behaviour. We then describe a choice experiment designed to empirically investigate the effects such drivers have on stated choices. Using a latent class model, we distingush three types of individual who are described as duty-orientated recyclers, budget recyclers and homo oeconomicus. These groups vary in their preferences for how frequently waste is collected, and the number of categories into which household waste must be recycled. Our results have implications for the design of future policies aimed at improving participation in recycling schemes.

Keywords: Household recycling; choice experiment; latent class model

JEL-codes: D01; D64; Q53

24 pages, August 30, 2014

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