Motivating Environmental Action in a Pluralistic Regulatory Environment: An Experimental Study of Framing, Crowding Out, and Institutional Effects in the Context of Recycling Policies

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Abstract

In designing a recycling policy, the regulator must choose among multiple instruments. Our study seeks to address the linkages between the choice of regulatory instruments and institutional frameworks, people's intrinsic motivation, and various attitudinal measures. We examined the behavioral repercussions of several instruments that are used widely in recycling regulation, using an experimental survey on a representative sample of the Israeli population (N=1,800 participants). Our findings suggest that the design of recycling policies should be sensitive to the framing effects of varied regulatory instruments and to the interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation on the desirability and efficacy of the law. In particular, we point out the potential regulatory advantage of using deposit schemes over other instruments and of using private organizations as regulatory agents. Drawing on these findings, we discuss the potential value of using differentiated regulatory policies to provide incentives for recycling in societies characterized by broad heterogeneity in levels of intrinsic motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-442
Number of pages38
JournalLaw and Society Review
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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