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Heat Waves, Droughts, and Preferences for Environmental Policy

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  • Ann L. Owen
  • Emily Conover
  • Julio Videras
  • Stephen Wu

Abstract

Using data from a new household survey on environmental attitudes, behaviors, and policy preferences, we find that current weather conditions affect preferences for environmental regulation. Individuals who have recently experienced extreme weather (heat waves or droughts) are more likely to support laws to protect the environment even if it means restricting individual freedoms. We find evidence that the channel through which weather conditions affect policy preference is via perceptions of the importance of the issue of global warming. Furthermore, individuals who may be more sophisticated consumers of news are less likely to have their attitudes towards global warming changed by current weather conditions.
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Suggested Citation

  • Ann L. Owen & Emily Conover & Julio Videras & Stephen Wu, 2012. "Heat Waves, Droughts, and Preferences for Environmental Policy," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(3), pages 556-577, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:31:y:2012:i:3:p:556-577
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Inattentive Producers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 793-821.
    2. Jeffrey A. Dubin & D. Roderick Kiewiet & Charles Noussair, 1992. "Voting On Growth Control Measures: Preferences And Strategies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 191-213, July.
    3. Kahn, Matthew E & Matsusaka, John G, 1997. "Demand for Environmental Goods: Evidence from Voting Patterns on California Initiatives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 137-173, April.
    4. W. Viscusi, 2009. "Valuing risks of death from terrorism and natural disasters," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 191-213, June.
    5. Daniel Halbheer & Sarah Niggli & Armin Schmutzler, 2006. "What Does it Take to Sell Environmental Policy? An Empirical Analysis of Referendum Data," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(4), pages 441-462, April.
    6. Jaeseung Lee & Trudy Cameron, 2008. "Popular Support for Climate Change Mitigation: Evidence from a General Population Mail Survey," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(2), pages 223-248, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Herrnstadt, Evan & Muehlegger, Erich, 2014. "Weather, salience of climate change and congressional voting," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 435-448.
    2. Jan Goebel & Christian Krekel & Tim Tiefenbach & Nicolas Ziebarth, 2015. "How natural disasters can affect environmental concerns, risk aversion, and even politics: evidence from Fukushima and three European countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 1137-1180, October.
    3. Jan Goebel & Christian Krekel & Tim Tiefenbach & Nicholas R. Ziebarth, 2014. "Natural Disaster, Environmental Concerns, Well-Being and Policy Action," CINCH Working Paper Series 1405, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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