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Main Title: Clean environments as a social norm: a field experiment on cigarette littering
Author(s): Sagebiel, Julian
Karok, Lukas
Grund, Julian
Rommel, Jens
Type: Article
Language Code: en
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.
Issue Date: 28-Sep-2020
Date Available: 2-Dec-2020
DDC Class: 333 Boden- und Energiewirtschaft
Subject(s): broken windows theory
sustainable urban environments
public cleaning
built environment
Sponsor/Funder: TU Berlin, Open-Access-Mittel – 2020
Journal Title: Environmental Research Communications
Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing
Publisher Place: Bristol
Volume: 2
Article Number: 091002
Publisher DOI: 10.1088/2515-7620/abb6da
EISSN: 2515-7620
Appears in Collections:FG Landschaftsökonomie » Publications

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