Munich Personal RePEc Archive

How personality traits affect the way Gen Z faces economic and environmental sustainability: an econometric investigation

Canova, Luciano and Paladino, Giovanna (2022): How personality traits affect the way Gen Z faces economic and environmental sustainability: an econometric investigation.

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Before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, awareness of the relevance of sustainability issues and climate change had increased significantly, especially among the younger generation. The COVID-19 pandemic and the related shutdown of many economic activities raised concerns about the conservation of biodiversity and the environment and about the state of personal economic well-being. Theoretically, at least two associations between sustainability and personal financial habits are relevant: a) they concern the decision-making process regarding the use of scarce resources, and b) they need a medium/long-term horizon as they exert their impacts over time. In this study, we examined how Generation Z deals with issues of sustainability and money management. By using the technique of the principal components, two synthetic indexes were derived on the basis of a set of multivariate information from a questionnaire that investigated the approach to the issue of sustainability by a representative sample of 400 girls aged between 13 and 18 years. The GREEN INDEX represents environmental practices, and the MONEY INDEX represents habits in money management. They are used as dependent variables to detect how socio-demographic factors and personality elements influence the degree of awareness. Our results show the importance of character traits at both levels of awareness and the strong association between attention to money management and a sense of responsibility toward the environment, highlighting the possibility that financial education can set in motion a virtuous circle.

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