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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

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

Schusser, S.; Bostedt, G.


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.


impure public goods; private provision of public goods; pro-environmental behavior; renewable energy; willingness to pay

Published in

Environmental Economics
2019, Volume: 10, number: 1, pages: 23-47
Publisher: LLC CPC Business Perspectives

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      Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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