INFLUENCE OF VALUES ON ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE IN DEVELOPED ECONOMIES How influential are values on environmental performance in countries with higher economic development?
Environmental problems have become a more and more important topic in the political science research. In order to stop exploiting natural resources and worsening living conditions, an answer to what is needed for improving environmental performance needs to be found. This master’s thesis focuses on how environmental performance is influenced by pro-environmental values in countries with higher economic performance. Literature review shows that only specific values, such as biospheric and liberal values, have more influence on pro- environmental behaviour. However, pro-environmental values can show their influence only in countries with higher economic development. This is first theoretically discussed with the Schwartz’s theory of basic values and post-materialist theory. The aim of this master’s thesis is to get an answer whether pro-environmental values can be considered as a plausible explanation for environmental performance in countries with higher economic development. Hypothesis that guides this analysis is that in countries with higher economical development it is likely to expect that pro-environmental values will have high and positive influence on environmental performance. Statistical analysis using ordinary least squares (OLS) multivariate linear regression showed different results than put forth by the theoretical discussion and thus the hypothesis was rejected. This could indicate that pro-environmental values could not be found as an influential factor for environmental performance in countries with higher economic development. This analysis leaves room and potential for future research to find a much-needed plausible explanation and later possible solution for current environmental problems.