Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Interest in the Biosphere and Environmental Awareness and Optimism among Students: A Seemingly Unrelated Bivariate Weighted Ordered Probit Modeling with Country Fixed Effects

Version 1 : Received: 2 June 2018 / Approved: 4 June 2018 / Online: 4 June 2018 (13:01:55 CEST)

How to cite: Niankara, I.; Zoungrana, D.T. Interest in the Biosphere and Environmental Awareness and Optimism among Students: A Seemingly Unrelated Bivariate Weighted Ordered Probit Modeling with Country Fixed Effects. Preprints 2018, 2018060044 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201806.0044.v1). Niankara, I.; Zoungrana, D.T. Interest in the Biosphere and Environmental Awareness and Optimism among Students: A Seemingly Unrelated Bivariate Weighted Ordered Probit Modeling with Country Fixed Effects. Preprints 2018, 2018060044 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201806.0044.v1).

Abstract


This study inscribes itself in the global discussion on the nurturing of pro-environmental behaviors among young people for a sustainable future. Here we focus on students' interest in Ecosystem Services and Sustainability to explain their awareness and optimism about the environmental issues of air pollution, water shortage and green gas emission in 50 countries around the world. To this end, we use the cross-sectional survey data of the OECD's Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, along with seemingly unrelated bi-variate weighted ordered Probit modeling with country specific effects. The results show that in addition to factors such as age, gender, immigration status, and economic, social and cultural status, interest in the biosphere is a significant determinant of students' environmental awareness and optimism. In fact, a one level increase in students' interest in ecosystem services and sustainability raises on average their awareness level by 15.3% for the issue of air pollution, 15.7% for the issue of water shortage, and 24.6% for the issue of green gas emission. Although students' interest in the biosphere seems to not have a significant effect on their expectations about the issue of green gas emission, it does however raise their level of optimism by 0.8% for the issue of air pollution, and 0.2% for the issue of water shortage. Furthermore, every one level increase in students' environmental awareness leads to 17.3% more optimism about the issue of air pollution, 15.8% more optimism about the issue of water shortage, and 17.4% more optimism about the issue of green gas emission. Therefore, relying on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), our results imply that governments and policy makers can successfully leverage young people interests in the biosphere to effectively achieve their goals for sustainability.

Subject Areas

air pollution; environmental awareness; environmental education; green gas emission; sustainable development; water shortage

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