Economics Faculty Co-Author Environmental Economics Article

Four Hamilton economics professors published “The influence of social relationships on pro-environment behaviors” in the January issue of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. The article was co-authored by Associate Professor of Economics Julio Videras, Henry Platt Bristol Professor of Economics Ann L. Owen, Assistant Professor of Economics Emily Conover and Associate Professor of Economics Stephen Wu.

The article examines how social ties relate to behaviors that determine a household’s carbon footprint by considering two aspects of social relationships – the strength of social ties and the closeness and trust with family, neighbors and co-workers; and the extent of pro-environment norms among an individual's social ties.

Based on their research, the authors confirmed the link between social ties and economic behaviors and showed that “ties among relatives, neighbors, and coworkers are not perfect substitutes.” Furthermore, they said they observed “consistent relationships between green family profiles and altruistic and community-based behaviors” and found that “the effect of coworker ties is visible for cost-saving activities and altruistic behaviors, and that neighbors matter for working with others in the community to solve a local problem, volunteering, and recycling.”

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