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Norms and economic motivation in household recycling: empirical evidence from Sweden
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2264-7043
2009 (English)In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 53, no 3, p. 155-165Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper analyzes the determinants of recycling efforts in Swedish households, and focuses on the case of packaging waste (i.e., paper, glass, plastic, and metal). The analysis builds on a theoretical framework that integrates norm-motivated behavior into a simple economic model of household choice by assuming that the individuals have preferences for maintaining a self-image as morally responsible, and thus norm-compliant, persons. A postal survey was sent out randomly to 2800 households in four different Swedish municipalities, and in the paper self-reported information on recycling rates at the household level is analyzed in an ordered probit regression framework. The results indicate that both economic and moral motives influence inter-household recycling rates. Specifically, convenience matters in the sense that property-close collection in multi-family dwelling houses leads to higher collection rates. The strength of moral (self-enforced) norms explains a large part of the variation across households, but the importance of such norms in driving recycling efforts partly diminishes if improved collection infrastructure makes it easier for households to recycle. Recycling rates at the household level are also positively influenced by the felt ability to favourably affect environmental outcomes as well as by others' recycling efforts. The paper discusses a number of policy implications that follow from the empirical results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 53, no 3, p. 155-165
Keywords [en]
Business / Economics - Economics
Keywords [sv]
Ekonomi - Nationalekonomi
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-6341DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2008.11.003ISI: 000263188300008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-58149189765Local ID: 49211350-e248-11dd-981b-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-6341DiVA, id: diva2:979218
Note
Validerad; 2009; 20090114 (keni)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved

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Hage, OlleSöderholm, PatrikBerglund, Christer

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