Green behavioral (in)consistencies: are pro-environmental behaviors in different domains substitutes or complements?

  • Received April 24, 2019;
    Accepted May 23, 2019;
    Published June 20, 2019
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  • DOI
    http://dx.doi.org/10.21511/ee.10(1).2019.03
  • Article Info
    Volume 10 2019, Issue #1, pp. 23-47
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Households’ consumption patterns and behaviors have profound influence on natural resources and environmental quality. This paper explores whether environmental behaviors and willingness to pay (WTP) in the household domains transport, energy consumption and water consumption are substitutes or complements. Using a cross-country data set from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Survey on Environmental Attitudes and Behavior from 2008, a random-effects (ordered) probit model is used to answer this question for the following countries: Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, Italy, and South Korea. It is found that in most countries, actual environmental behaviors are substitutes, while WTP for environmental public goods in different domains is mostly complementary. Grounding in these results, policies aiming to encourage overall environmentally friendly lifestyles should therefore be all-encompassing of several public domains, instead of individual ones, to avoid the risk of negative spillovers.

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    • Figure 1а. Schematic illustrations of demand for two public goods, if they are substitutes
    • Figure 1b. Schematic illustrations of demand for two public goods, if they are complements.
    • Figure 2. Summary of the relation of WTP in the domains energy, transport and water in six countries. In bold is the dominating relation
    • Figure 3. Summary of the relation of behaviors in the domains energy, transport and water in six countries. In bold is the dominating relation
    • Table 1. Description of variables
    • Table 2. Descriptive statistics per country (means)
    • Table 3. Frequencies and medians for variables related to pro-environmental goods and behaviors in each of the domains, namely energy, transport and water
    • Table 4. Average discrete effects of binary probit, dependent variable: engagement in pro-environmental behavior above the median (1), parameter estimates of ordered probit with random effects, dependent variable: WTP for pro-environmental goods (2)
    • Table 5. Summary of interrelations
    • Table 6. Shares of renewable energy sources in total primary energy supply and electricity supply, by country, 2016
    • Table Bl. Average discrete effects of binary probit, dependent variable in model: engagement in pro-environmental acitivities above the median, base domain: energy
    • Table B2. Average discrete effects of binary probit, dependent variable in model: engagement in pro-environmental acitivities above the median, base domain: transport
    • Table B3. Average discrete effects of ordered probit, dependent variable: ordinal responses for WTP for pro-environmental goods, base good: renewable-energv-only
    • Table B4. Average discrete effects of ordered probit, dependent variable: ordinal responses for WTP for pro-environmental goods, base good: transport
    • Table B5. Countrvwise parameter estimates of ordered probit with random effects. Base domain: energy
    • Table B6. Countrvwise parameter estimates of ordered probit with random effects. Base domain: transport