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Type: Journal article
Title: The relationship between country and individual household wealth and climate change concern: the mediating role of control
Author: Nauges, C.
Wheeler, S.A.
Fielding, K.S.
Citation: Environment, Development and Sustainability: a multidisciplinary approach to the theory and practice of sustainable development, 2021; 23(11):1-23
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 1387-585X
Statement of
Céline Nauges, Sarah Ann Wheeler and Kelly S. Fielding
Abstract: The relationship between wealth and climate change concern has been a focus of several studies. In this article, we hypothesize that richer households (and countries) are less concerned about climate change because wealth provides a buffer against some of the related risks. This leads people in wealthier countries and households to perceive a greater sense of control over climate change impacts, which in turn results in lower levels of concern. We tested this hypothesis using a unique household survey encompassing 11 OECD countries and over 10,000 households and applying mixed multi-level regression models. Our results confirmed a statistically significant negative relationship between country and household wealth and individuals’ perceptions of the seriousness of climate change. This study contributes to current literature by showing that this relationship is mediated through sense of control, measured at the country level by the country’s readiness index and at the individual household level by the extent of adoption of energy efficiency improvements. These findings raise the question of how best to incentivize action on climate change amongst those with the ability—but not necessarily the motivation—to respond.
Keywords: Climate change concern; mediation analysis; wealth; control; country wealth; household wealth
Description: Published: 01 April 2021 OnlinePubl
Rights: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2021
DOI: 10.1007/s10668-021-01327-x
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