Environmental Concern and the Business Cycle: The Chilling Effect of Recession
AbstractThis paper uses three different sources of data to investigate the association between the business cycle—measured with unemployment rates—and environmental concern. Building on recent research that finds internet search terms to be useful predictors of health epidemics and economic activity, we find that an increase in a state’s unemployment rate decreases Google searches for “global warming” and increases searches for “unemployment,” and that the effect differs according to a state’s political ideology. From national surveys, we find that an increase in a state’s unemployment rate is associated with a decrease in the probability that residents think global warming is happening and reduced support for the U.S to target policies intended to mitigate global warming. Finally, in California, we find that an increase in a county’s unemployment rate is associated with a significant decrease in county residents choosing the environment as the most important policy issue. Beyond providing the first empirical estimates of macroeconomic effects on environmental concern, we discuss the results in terms of the potential impact on environmental policy and understanding the full cost of recessions.
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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Google Trends Delivers a Verdict on Which Economist the Public Cares About
by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2011-09-10 04:31:00
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by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2010-12-28 21:18:00
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- The Causes and Consequences of Environmentalism
by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2010-08-25 01:03:00
- U.S High Carbon Exceptionalism
by Matthew E. Kahn in the reality-based community on 2011-10-16 15:07:41
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by Matthew Kahn in the reality-based community on 2011-04-21 15:47:21
- Behavioral Economics and Climate Change
by Matthew E. Kahn in Legal Planet on 2012-04-09 00:03:20
- Theda Skocpol on Federal Carbon Policy Design
by Matthew E. Kahn in Legal Planet on 2013-01-19 17:07:47
- Are Recessions Good for the Environment? Evidence from Greece
by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2014-01-03 00:31:00
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