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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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    9. Neal D. Woods, 2021. "The State of State Environmental Policy Research: A Thirty‐Year Progress Report," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 38(3), pages 347-369, May.
    10. 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.
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