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Clean environments as a social norm: a field experiment on cigarette littering

Sagebiel, Julian and Karok, Lukas and Grund, Julian and Rommel, Jens (2020). Clean environments as a social norm: a field experiment on cigarette littering. Environmental research communications. 2 , 091002
[Journal article]

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Abstract

Cigarette littering in public spaces is an environmental and aesthetic problem. Broken windows theory posits that visible signs of anti-social behavior such as littering create the perception of a social norm in built environments. Cigarette butts on the ground then encourage people to drop theirs as well. We test this theory on benches of a university campus in a field experiment with two treatments: (1) a clean environment with no cigarette butts on the ground and (2) a dirty environment with 25 cigarette butts on the ground. Our outcome variable is the number of additional cigarette butts on the ground after two hours. We find a small effect of approximately 0.5 butts less per 2-hour period on clean grounds. Increased cleaning efforts can thus reduce littering, but the effect is probably too small to justify additional cleaning costs.

Authors/Creators:Sagebiel, Julian and Karok, Lukas and Grund, Julian and Rommel, Jens
Title:Clean environments as a social norm: a field experiment on cigarette littering
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:2
Article number:091002
Number of Pages:10
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 502 Economics and Business > Economics
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 507 Social and Economic Geography > Human Geography
Keywords:broken windows theory, sustainable urban environments, Berlin, Germany, public cleaning, built environment
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107375
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107375
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1088/2515-7620/abb6da
ID Code:17797
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:14 Oct 2020 06:42
Metadata Last Modified:14 Oct 2020 06:51

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