Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation to protect the environment (by M. Pugno and F. Sarracino – MPRA paper)

Understanding why many people spontaneously perform pro-environmental behaviours, rather than requiring some incentive, is an active area of research. We contribute to this research by relating intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in pursuing central goals in people’s lives, and specifically in looking for a job, to pro-environmental attitudes and engagements. Using an international sample, we find that intrinsic motivation relates positively and extrinsic motivation relates negatively to a variety of subjective pro-environmental outcomes. This result holds for different sub-samples and for various econometric specifications and methodologies. In particular, two-stage least squares estimation with proper instruments provides evidence of a causal relationship between motivations and pro-environmental outcomes.

Published as downloadable  MPRA working paper.