Carbon Geography: The Political Economy of Congressional Support for Legislation Intended to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Production

11 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2013

See all articles by Michael I. Cragg

Michael I. Cragg

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Yuyu Zhou

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kevin Gurney

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2013

Abstract

Over the last 5 years, the U.S. Congress has voted on several pieces of legislation intended to sharply reduce the nation's greenhouse gas emissions. Given that climate change is a world public bad, standard economic logic would predict that the United States would “free ride” and wait for other nations to reduce their emissions. Within the Congress, there are clear patterns to who votes in favor of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. This paper presents a political economy analysis of the determinants of “pro‐green” votes on such legislation. Conservatives consistently vote against such legislation. Controlling for a representative's ideology, representatives from richer districts and districts with a lower per‐capita carbon dioxide footprint are more likely to vote in favor of climate change mitigation legislation. Representatives from districts where industrial emissions represent a larger share of greenhouse gas emissions are more likely to vote no.

JEL Classification: Q54, Q58, R50

Suggested Citation

Cragg, Michael I. and Zhou, Yuyu and Gurney, Kevin and Kahn, Matthew E., Carbon Geography: The Political Economy of Congressional Support for Legislation Intended to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Production (April 2013). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 51, Issue 2, pp. 1640-1650, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2225690 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2012.00462.x

Michael I. Cragg (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Yuyu Zhou

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Kevin Gurney

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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