Affluence and objective environmental conditions: Evidence of differences in environmental concern in metropolitan Brazil

Raphael J. Nawrotzki, Gilvan Guedes, Roberto L. Carmo

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Abstract

In an age of climate change, researchers need to form a deepened understanding of the determinants of environmental concern, particularly in countries of emerging economies. This paper provides a region-specific investigation of the impact of socio-economic status (SES) and objective environmental conditions on environmental concern in urban Brazil. We make use of data collected from personal interviews of individuals living in the metropolitan areas of Baixada Santista and Campinas, in the larger São Paulo area. Results from multilevel regression models indicate that wealthier households are more environmentally concerned, as suggested by affluence and post-materialist hypotheses. However, we also observe that increasing environmental concern correlates with a decline in objective environmental conditions. Interactions between objective environmental conditions and SES reveal some intriguing relationships: Among poorer individuals, a decline in environmental conditions increases environmental concern as suggested by the objective problems hypothesis, while for the wealthy, a decline in environmental conditions is associated with lower levels of environmental concern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-193
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Sustainable Development
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The authors.

Keywords

  • Affluence hypothesis
  • Environmental concern
  • Environmental conditions
  • Metropolitan Brazil
  • Socio-economic status

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