Happiness and Environmental Awareness – Factors of Sustainable Development Cover Image

Sreća i ekološka svjesnost – čimbenici održivog razvoja
Happiness and Environmental Awareness – Factors of Sustainable Development

Author(s): Anita Frajman Ivković, Marija Ham, Tjaša Redek
Subject(s): Economy, Business Economy / Management, Energy and Environmental Studies, Human Resources in Economy
Published by: Sveučilište Josipa Jurja Strossmayera u Osijeku, Ekonomski fakultet u Osijeku
Keywords: environmental consciousness of consumers; happiness determinants; economics of happiness; sustainable development;

Summary/Abstract: Economic growth was long perceived as the key goal of economic development. But as the capitalist economies got richer and as negative consequences of the growth spurt became more obvious, the development paradigm began to change course towards sustainability, which encompasses economic, environmental and social dimensions. The purpose of the article is to link the value system in the society and the possibility of the society to embrace the sustainable development model. We first provide the theoretical framework, followed by an empirical analysis of Croatia. The stress is on the environmental component of sustainability. The article builds from the popular stream of economic theory, i.e. economic analysis of happiness, which claims that happiness results not solely from economic factors, but also personal and broader social elements. These can also include environmental variables. In economic analysis of happiness, the consumer is not a standard utility maximizing consumer, who directly links utility and consumption of goods. His happiness is largely determined also by environmental elements. The existence of such consumers is consequently a prerequisite for the establishment of the sustainable economy. Empirical results show that: (1) consumers in general are at the moment not well educated about ecological problems, but (2) those that are give a lot of attention to environmental aspects. It is also important to note that future sustainability depends primarily on the attitude of current young cohorts (15 to 24 years), which, unfortunately, are least environmentally conscious. The role of the government and public institutions in preparing broader educational campaigns can therefore be significant.

  • Issue Year: 23/2010
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 467-481
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Croatian