We argue that farmers exhibit identity concerns that can be conducive or detrimental to environmental conservation. In addition to recognizing the existence and importance of these concerns, we posit how they modify traditional predictions in unexpected directions. We characterize the propensity to adopt environmental measures within a two-dimensional space defined by farmers’ expectations about how adoption will impact profit as well as identity-related concerns. In doing so, we emphasize that identity concerns can be (inadvertently) activated and/or manipulated in directions that can be (un)favorable to socially desirable goals. We also develop some original and practical ways to better understand and exploit the identity dynamics to reach environmental conservation objectives.
Harnessing the power of identity to encourage farmers to protect the environment
29 January 2019