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Are politicians office or policy motivated? The case of U.S. governors' environmental policies

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  • Fredriksson, Per G.
  • Wang, Le
  • Mamun, Khawaja A.

Abstract

Are elected politicians primarily motivated by holding office, thus choosing environmental policies accordingly? Or are they motivated by the chance to implement their preferred environmental policies? Do governors have character, in the sense that they promise and implement environmental policies consistent with their own preferences? To answer these questions, we study the differences in environmental spending across both re-electable and lame duck governors from the two main political parties. In our empirical analysis, we make use of parametric and non-parametric regression-discontinuity approaches. While re-electable governors do not set significantly different policies, lame duck governors do. We argue that in the area of environmental policy governors appear to be primarily office motivated and lack character.

Suggested Citation

  • Fredriksson, Per G. & Wang, Le & Mamun, Khawaja A., 2011. "Are politicians office or policy motivated? The case of U.S. governors' environmental policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 241-253, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:62:y:2011:i:2:p:241-253
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Garmann, Sebastian, 2014. "Do government ideology and fragmentation matter for reducing CO2-emissions? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 1-10.
    2. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Boucher, Vincent, 2015. "Polluting politics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 176-181.
    3. Carmen Arguedas & Dietrich Earnhart & Sandra Rousseau, 2017. "Non-uniform implementation of uniform standards," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 159-183, April.
    4. Hélia Costa, 2016. "Pork barrel as a signaling tool: the case of US environmental policy," GRI Working Papers 225, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    5. Fredriksson, Per G. & Neumayer, Eric, 2013. "Democracy and climate change policies: Is history important?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 11-19.
    6. Laura Bianchini & Federico Revelli, 2013. "Green Polities: Urban Environmental Performance and Government Popularity," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 72-90, March.
    7. Matthew Doyle & Corrado Di Maria & Ian A. Lange & Emiliya Lazarova, 2016. "Electoral Incentives and Firm Behavior: Evidence from U.S. Power Plant Pollution Abatement," CESifo Working Paper Series 6127, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Voß, Achim, 2014. "Strategic choice of stock pollution: Why conservatives (appear to) turn green," CAWM Discussion Papers 66, University of Münster, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM).

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