The Environment as Public Good: Insights in Environmental Behaviour and Support for Environmental Policies and the influence of Time Preferences.
Meulen, E.J.M. van der
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The aim of this research was to get insight in the problem of collective action in regard to environmental issues. The free-rider problem occurs, where not everyone contributes to a cleaner environment. The contribution to the environment is measured by environmental behaviour and support for environmental policies. The latter indicates willingness to contribute. Although there have been multiple studies in the environmental sociology, this study combines the collective action problem with time preferences. Based on earlier research, collective benefits should have a positive effect on environmental behaviour as well as support for environmental policies. Moreover, theories suggest that there is an effect of selective incentives on behaving environmentally friendly. Also, a positive moderating effect of time preferences is predicted. Data was obtained from the ‘Swiss Environmental Survey 2007’. Results of OLS multiple regression show evidence that supports the effect of collective benefits on environmental behaviour and support for environmental policies. Selective incentives show to be partially explained by the results. There was no evidence found that supports the moderating effect of time preferences on environmental behaviour and on support for environmental policies.