Olbrich, Roland Quaas, Martin F. Baumgärtner, Stefan
Working Paper Series in Economics 209
We empirically study personal norms of sustainability, conceptualized according to the normactivation theory and operationalized under the notion of strong ecological-economic sustainability, for commercial cattle farmers in semi-arid rangelands of Namibia, a system that is subject to extensive degradation. We characterize farmers' personal norms, study their determinants, and analyze their impact on actual management based on the dual-preferences model. We find personal norms of sustainability that are heterogeneous across farmers, but vary little with socio-demographic or environmental characteristics. We find no evidence for a significant impact of personal norms on actual management behavior, which may be due to farmers not feeling capable for averting adverse long-term consequences of their management. This may contribute to the observed degradation of rangelands in Namibia.
commercial cattle farming Namibia norm-activation theory personal norms dual-preferences model semi-arid rangelands sustainability