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Economic Development and Environmental Intentions: A Comment on Liu and Sibley (2011)


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Katherine D. Arbuthnott, Campion College, University of Regina, Regina, SK, Canada, S4S 0A2 [e-mail:].


In a sample of university students from 34 countries, Liu and Sibley (2011) observed that the association between concern about climate change and willingness to pay for protection of the natural environment was moderated by countries’ human development index (HDI). Two concerns with this research are outlined, the use of a single, biased question to measure environmental action intentions and the authors’ framing of the results using a disconfirmed version of Maslow's hierarchy of needs model. When considered outside the framework of Maslow's hierarchy, HDI seems to influence concern about climate change but not willingness to pay for environmental protection.