Martin Binder on green lifestyles and subjective well-being (Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization)

The paper "Green lifestyles and subjective well-being: More about self-image than actual behavior?" co-authored by faculty member Martin Binder and Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg (University of Göttingen) was published in the May 2017 issue of the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

While research has generally shown that green behavior and sustainable consumption are positively related to life satisfaction, Binder and Blankenberg set out to identify to what extent specific pro-environmental behaviors are related to subjective well-being. By analyzing data sets from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (the world’s largest panel survey), they come to the conclusion that the boost in life satisfaction is mostly due to self-image (i.e. one's own assessment of how environmentally-friendly one's behavior is), but not due to concrete pro-environmental behaviors such as conserving water, recycling and so on. Additionally, Binder and Blankenberg demonstrate that green self-image increases the extent and intensity of green behavior yet even the greenest (self-identified) individuals do not consistently exhibit all pro-environmental behaviors.