Do Greens Drive Hummers Or Hybrids? Environmental Ideology as a Determinant of Consumer Choice and the Aggregate Ecological Footprint
Matthew E. Kahn
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
The environmental movement has been an effective interest group lobbying governments to enact policies that enhance public goods (the environment) at the expense of tightly organized for profit interests. Collectively, environmentalists have been able to overcome free-rider problems to achieve their goals. But, in day to day life do environmentalists "free ride"? Do they live a "green" lifestyle? This paper uses several California data sets to test for differences in consumption patterns between greens and browns. I document that a community's share of Green Party registered voters is a viable proxy for community environmentalism. Environmentalists are more likely to commute by public transit, purchase hybrid vehicles, and consume less gasoline than non-environmentalists. These observed differentials have aggregate implications for explaining why some nations lie below the cross-national Environmental Kuznets Curve.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: environmentalism, Kuznets Curve, consumption
JEL Classification: Q4, Q2working papers series
Date posted: October 25, 2006
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