Participation in Environmental Organizations: Political Interest and State Capacity (2006)

The literature on volunteering has strongly increased in the last few years. However, there is still a lack of substantial empirical evidence about the determinants of environmental participation. This empirical study analyses a cross-section of individuals using micro-data of the World Values Survey wave III (1995-1997), covering 38 countries, to investigate this question. The results suggest that not only socio-demographic and socio-economic factors have an impact on individuals? active participation in environmental organizations, but also political attitudes. Furthermore, we observe regional differences. Interestingly, there is the tendency that environmental participation is a stronger channel for action in developing countries, where weak and dysfunctional states lead people to pursue their goals through non-governmental sector activities. We also find that a higher level of perceived corruption leads to a stronger participation in environmental organizations, which shows that individuals take action when they perceive that the government is corrupt.

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García-Valiñas María A., Torgler Benno