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Do economic conditions influence environmental policy? Evidence from the US Senate

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  • Jacobsen, Grant D.

Abstract

This paper investigates whether economic conditions influence environmental policy by examining how policymakers voting on environmental legislation respond to changes in their state’s unemployment rate. The outcome of interest is a US Senator’s League of Conservation Voters score, which reflects how often a senator voted for the environmentally-favorable outcome on bills related to the environment in a given year. I find evidence that a higher unemployment rate is associated with reduced support for environmentally-favorable policies and that the estimated response is largest for Republicans. Counterfactual estimates indicate that if each state had experienced its lowest observed unemployment rate throughout the sample, then the proportion of votes taking the environmentally-favorable outcome would have increased from 36% to 41%.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 120 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 167-170

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:120:y:2013:i:2:p:167-170

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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Keywords: Environmental policy; Unemployment rate; LCV scores; Congressional voting;

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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1994. "Economic Growth and the Environment," NBER Working Papers 4634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Deacon, Robert & Norman, Catherine S, 2004. "Does the Environmental Kuznets Curve Describe How Individual Countries Behave?," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt6gm8164w, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  3. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-61, April.
  4. Kijima, Masaaki & Nishide, Katsumasa & Ohyama, Atsuyuki, 2010. "Economic models for the environmental Kuznets curve: A survey," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1187-1201, July.
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