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Rich People, Poor People, and Environmental Concern: Evidence across Nations and Time

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • MH Fairbrother
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)910-922
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Volume29
Issue number5
Early online date27 Jul 2012
DOIs
DateE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jul 2012
DatePublished (current) - Oct 2013

Abstract

What makes people concerned about environmental degradation and willing to pay for its prevention? Recent survey research argues that richer people are greener-that residents of more economically developed countries, as well as relatively wealthier people within countries, are more concerned about the state of the natural environment and more willing to pay to protect it. This article questions this view, using survey data on multiple distinct aspects of environmental concern, from a larger sample of countries, and, where possible, taking into account not just cross-sectional differences among nations but also change over time. The analyses reported in this article show that environmental concern is generally higher in poorer countries, and there is no relationship over time between economic development and people's willingness to pay for environmental protection. Within countries, richer people are slightly more concerned about the environment, but only on some dimensions and not others.

    Research areas

  • GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTALISM, POSTMATERIALIST VALUES, MULTILEVEL ANALYSIS, OBJECTIVE PROBLEMS, SUBJECTIVE VALUES, AMERICAN STATES, PUBLIC-OPINION, ATTITUDES, PROTECTION, SUPPORT

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