National environmental performance: a cross-sectional analysis
Grafton, R Quentin; Knowles, Stephen
Using cross-country data from a sample of low, middle and high-income countries, the paper explores the empirical relationships between national measures of social capital (civic and public), social divergence and social capacity upon various indicators of national environmental performance. The results suggest that the mere existence of social capital, as measured by trust, civic engagement and associational activity, is not a sufficient condition for improved national environmental outcomes. The findings indicate, one, how social capital is applied and whether it is directed to environmental stewardship is important in determining its national impact, two, the significance of public social capital and effective national environmental policies in decoupling the link between environmental degradation and economic activity and, three, the possible link between effective environmental policies and public social capital and higher levels of per capita income.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series number: 205
Keywords: social capital; environmental performance; cross-sectional analysis
Research Type: Discussion Paper