Does Flood Exposure Affect Environmental Behaviours?

49 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2023

Date Written: November 18, 2023


This paper examines how flood exposure affects environmental behaviour. I rely on precise outlines of all floods in England from 2009 to 2022, and complement these flood incidents with precise flood risk modelling. Using a longitudinal survey on individual-level behaviour and data on observed donations, I show that individuals living in postcodes affected by a flood become more pro-environment in their day-to-day activities, and they also increase their support for the Green Party and environmental charities. The sense of guilt may be the driving force behind their greener behaviours: floods make these individuals view their actions as not environmentally friendly enough. In contrast, individuals are not responsive to floods that affect their close neighbours, even within a narrow range of 200 meters.

Keywords: disaster, floods, climate change, pro-environmental behaviour, green identity, social norm

JEL Classification: Q51, Q54, Q58, D01, Z13

Suggested Citation

Xu, Mingyao, Does Flood Exposure Affect Environmental Behaviours? (November 18, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Mingyao Xu (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

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