Does it Have to Be a Sacrifice? Different Notions of the Good Life, Pro-Environmental Behavior and Their Heterogeneous Impact on Well-Being

Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research (CEGE), Number 366, October 2019

38 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2019

See all articles by Martin Binder

Martin Binder

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute; University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Universität der Bundeswehr München

Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Jorge Guardiola

University of Granada - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Date Written: May 14, 2019

Abstract

Our well-being is influenced by our notion of what constitutes a good life, a vital part of our identity. While pro-environmental behavior is often found to be positively related to individuals’ well-being, our research delves into the extent to which this relationship is influenced by individuals’ identity, measured both as green self-image and their notion of the good life in general. Using survey responses from Spanish university students (n = 640) and paying close attention to the subjective perception of what it means to be “satisfied with their lives”, we find that green behavior is negatively related to life satisfaction in our sample. In contrast, green self-image is positively related to life satisfaction. Whether pro-environmental behavior is positively related to life satisfaction further depends on whether one’s notion of the good life (and hence happiness) is utopian, stoicist, or based on a fulfillment - or virtue-view. In addition, well-being loss from pro-environmental behavior also decreases with the available disposable income.

Keywords: Pro-Environmental Behavior, Subjective Well-Being, Good Life, Identity, Green Self-Image, Conceptual Referent Theory, Life Satisfaction

Suggested Citation

Binder, Martin and Binder, Martin and Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin and Guardiola, Jorge, Does it Have to Be a Sacrifice? Different Notions of the Good Life, Pro-Environmental Behavior and Their Heterogeneous Impact on Well-Being (May 14, 2019). Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research (CEGE), Number 366, October 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3473724 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3473724

Martin Binder (Contact Author)

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Universität der Bundeswehr München ( email )

Werner-Heisenberg-Weg 39
Neubiberg
Munich, 85579
Germany

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute ( email )

Blithewood
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000
United States

Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Wilhelmsplatz 1
Göttingen, 37073
Germany

Jorge Guardiola

University of Granada - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Campus de Cartuja
Granada, 18071
Spain
+34 958 246258 (Phone)

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