Heat waves, droughts, and preferences for environmental policy
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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