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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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16241.
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:
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- Nils Kok & Marquise McGraw & John Quigley, 2012. "The diffusion over time and space of energy efficiency in building," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 541-564, April.
- Chonnikarn Fern Jira & Michael W. Toffel, 2011. "Engaging Supply Chains in Climate Change," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-026, Harvard Business School, revised Oct 2012.
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