in: DEV Working Paper Series (56), The School of International Development, Norwich: University of East Anglia, UK (Online)
ISBN: ISSN 1756-7904
Pro-environmental behaviour (PEB) is known to reflect people’s social preferences, time preferences and risk preferences. Previous research has tended to consider these in isolation, which means they may proxy for omitted ones, leading to biased estimates. Moreover, it has not considered ambiguity preferences, which for some PEBs is conceptually more relevant than risk preferences. Using a survey module from the Global Preference Survey (GPS), we investigate the role of a large range of preferences for PEB in a sample of 900 middle class households in Lima, Peru. The PEBs we consider are habitually saving energy, avoiding the use of plastics, and limiting expenditures on electricity. We find that social preferences matter mainly for saving-energy behaviour; time, risk and ambiguity preferences matter mainly for the consumption of plastics; and time and ambiguity preferences matter for expenditures on electricity. The insight that particular preferences matter for particular PEBs has important policy implications.