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Do Economic Conditions Affect Public Support for Environmental Policy?

Bakaki, Zorzeta and Bernauer, Thomas (2018) 'Do Economic Conditions Affect Public Support for Environmental Policy?' Journal of Cleaner Production. ISSN 0959-6526

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Abstract

Economic conditions are typically viewed as having an important influence on environmental policy. In particular, it is widely believed that under adverse economic conditions, electorates and governments prioritize economic growth and jobs over costly ecological restraint. The empirical evidence for this received wisdom, however, remains surprisingly contradictory. We contribute to this debate by studying a case where the odds of the economy-environment trade-off claim holding true should be high: an emerging economy in severe recession, and environmental policy with high short-term costs and long-term benefits. Based on a representative survey (N=2449) in Brazil, implemented in late 2015/early 2016, we examine how ego- and socio-tropic economic conditions, both perceived and real, affect citizens’ preferences concerning the mitigation of deforestation and climate change. We find no robust evidence for an economy-environment trade-off. The main policy implication is that, from a public opinion perspective, there is considerable room for ambitious environmental policy even under adverse economic conditions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economic recession; Climate mitigation; Deforestation; Brazil; Representative survey
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 May 2018 14:21
Last Modified: 24 May 2019 01:00
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22107

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