Does social trust promote behaviour aimed at mitigating climate change?

Gür N.

Economic Affairs, vol.40, no.1, pp.36-49, 2020 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/ecaf.12384
  • Journal Name: Economic Affairs
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, ABI/INFORM, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, EconLit, Public Affairs Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.36-49
  • Keywords: climate change, pro-environmental behaviour, social trust
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Using international data from the Life in Transition Survey, I analyse the role of social trust on pro-environmental behaviours aimed at helping to fight climate change. Social trust might increase pro-environmental behaviour by reducing the free-rider problem, restraining opportunistic behaviour, and enhancing cooperation. The results suggest that social trust increases the probability of individuals taking personal actions aimed at helping to fight climate change; the results are robust to using different sets of control variables, and to controlling for country and region fixed effects. The results also indicate that social trust is positively and significantly associated with environmental actions that are time-consuming, but there is no significant relationship with environmental actions that impose monetary costs on individuals.