Environment and Development Economics

Research Article

Participation in environmental organizations: an empirical analysis


a1 School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia; and CREMA – Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts, Basel, Switzerland. Email: benno.torgler@qut.edu.au

a2 Oviedo Efficiency Group, Department of Economics, School of Economics and Business, University of Oviedo, Avda. del Cristo s/n, 33006, Oviedo (Asturias), Spain; and LERNA, Laboratoire d'Economie des Ressources Naturelles, Toulouse (Midi-Pyrinees), France. Email: mariangv@uniovi.es

a3 School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Email: alison.macintyre@qut.edu.au


The literature on volunteering has increased over the last few years. However, despite the importance of active environmental participation for solving public good and externality problems, there is still a lack of substantial empirical evidence regarding several interesting factors that influence this form of volunteering. This empirical study investigates the area by analyzing a cross-section of individuals from 38 countries using micro-data from wave III of the World Values Survey (1995–1997). The results suggest that individuals' active participation in environmental organizations is related not only to socioeconomic factors but also to political interest. We also find that a higher level of corruption is related to participation in environmental organizations. However, the situation is different for transition countries in which there was a collapse of institutional structures. The energy required to negotiate the ensuing chaos may have crowded out other forms of engagement.

(Received February 27 2009)

(Revised April 26 2010)

(Revised October 23 2010)

(Accepted February 26 2011)

(Online publication May 24 2011)


For advice and suggestions, thanks are due to Doris Aebi, Jouni Paavola, the participants at the 2nd Atlantic Workshop on Energy and Environmental Economics, participants at the 3rd World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists (Kyoto), and three anonymous referees.