Private Recycling Values, Social Norms, and Legal Rules
Revue d'Economie Politique, Forthcoming
35 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2013 Last revised: 14 Nov 2013
Date Written: January 21, 2013
This article uses a large, original data set on U.S. recycling behavior and perception of social norms. The data include unique information with respect to personal norms and external social norms with respect to recycling behavior, making it possible to analyze the determinants of these norms and the effect of norms on recycling. The legal and regulatory environment affect average community recycling rates and external social norms, but do not have an additional independent effect on recycling for glass, plastic, cans, or paper. Social norms in terms of average community recycling rates and perceived external norms boost recycling rates. Households that recycle are also more likely to have a private recycling norm. Deposit policies that provide financial incentives and recycling policies that make recycling more convenient boost recycling rates.
Keywords: H23, D60, K32, Q30
JEL Classification: recycling, norms, environment, deposit policies
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