Empirical Economics

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 569–588 | Cite as

Social relationships, public media, and pro-environmental behaviors

  • Hui Zhou
  • Haitao YinEmail author
  • Fang Yuan
  • Feng Wang


We explore the heterogeneity of pro-environmental behaviors embedded in social contexts from the perspectives of both social relationships and public media. Using new data from a Chinese nationally representative sample, we employ latent cluster models to identify patterns in social relationships and public media. Then we examine how differences across patterns of social relationships and public media correlate with differences in the likelihood that people take pro-environmental actions. Our results show that individuals with more exposure to green social contexts are more likely to take pro-environmental actions and, in particular, that public media plays a more important role than social relationships. The finding implies that developing countries can use public media to promote public participation in environmental protection.


Pro-environmental behaviors Social context Social relationships Public media Latent cluster models 

JEL Classification

D19 Q59 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the very helpful comments and suggestions given by two anonymous referees. This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Numbers: 71322305, 71774107, 71632007, 71690241, 71421002).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Antai College of Economics and ManagementShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.School of BusinessGuangdong University of Foreign StudiesGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.School of Public Economics and AdministrationShanghai University of Finance and EconomicsShanghaiChina

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