Environmental pressure group strength and air pollution: An empirical analysis
There is an established theoretical and empirical case-study literature arguing that environmental pressure groups have a real impact on pollution levels. Our original contribution to this literature is to provide the first systematic quantitative test of the strength of environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) on air pollution levels. We find that ENGO strength exerts a statistically significant impact on sulfur dioxide, smoke and heavy particulates concentration levels in a cross-country time-series regression analysis. This result holds true both for ordinary least squares and random-effects estimation. It is robust to controlling for the potential endogeneity of ENGO strength with the help of instrumental variables. The effect is also substantively important. Strengthening ENGOs represents an important strategy by which aid donors, foundations, international organizations and other stakeholders can try to achieve lower pollution levels around the world.
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