No Man is an Island - Social coordination and the Environment
Humans are fundamentally social. Social activities require coordination, which may yield multiple equilibria in the form of stable, self-reinforcing patterns of herd behavior. Since environmental impacts can differ substantially between alternative equilibria, such self-reinforcing behaviors may, from an environmental perspective, be viewed as representing virtuous or vicious cycles. Environmental policies can help break the self-fulfilling expectations of vicious cycles, tipping the economy to more environment-friendly equilibria.