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Journal Articles Journal of Evolutionary Economics Year : 2020

Determinants of sustainable consumption in France: the importance of social influence and environmental values

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Abstract

Our article provides empirical findings for France related to sustainable consumption and what triggers sustainable behaviour. We investigate various potential key explanatory variables including social influence and environmental values, among others. Our main contribution is to survey and to analyse a set of consumption practices (rather than the examination of single practices as in most of the literature) for a large sample of more than 3,000 households. The survey was conducted in France in 2012. We use cluster analysis to identify and describe the different consumer behaviour profiles. This methodology identifies three clusters of consumers characterized by diverse concerns related to the environmental impact of their consumption. Based on these clusters, ordered Logit models are fitted on three levels of sustainable consumption behaviours. Our results emphasize the importance of age, gender, education, environmental concern and peer effects for spurring sustainable consumption. We discuss the role of peer pressure as a major determinant. Learning about sustainable behaviour from peers seems to complement changing environmental values and stimulate pro-environmental behaviour. Our findings show that local externalities clearly outweigh the global consequences related to the promotion of sustainable consumption behaviours; that is, the ability to learn in small networks is critical for the promotion of trust and the exchange of ideas and practices.
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halshs-02387961 , version 1 (30-11-2019)

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Nathalie Lazaric, Fabrice Le Guel, Jean Belin, Vanessa Oltra, Sébastien Lavaud, et al.. Determinants of sustainable consumption in France: the importance of social influence and environmental values. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2020, 30, pp.1337-1366. ⟨10.1007/s00191-019-00654-7⟩. ⟨halshs-02387961⟩
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