Hurricanes, Climate Change Policies and Electoral Accountability

60 Pages Posted: 30 May 2019

See all articles by Stefano Gagliarducci

Stefano Gagliarducci

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics; Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Daniele Paserman

Boston University - Department of Economics; Hebrew University of Jerusalem; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Eleonora Patacchini

Cornell University

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2019

Abstract

This paper studies how politicians and voters respond to new information on the threats of climate change. Using data on the universe of federal disaster declarations between 1989 and 2014, we document that congress members from districts hit by a hurricane are more likely to support bills promoting more environmental regulation and control in the year after the disaster. The response to hurricanes does not seem to be driven by logrolling behavior or lobbysts' pressure. The change in legislative agenda is persistent over time, and it is associated with an electoral penalty in the following elections. The response is mainly promoted by representatives in safe districts, those with more experience, and those with strong pro-environment records. Our evidence thus reveals that natural disasters may trigger a permanent change in politicians' beliefs, but only those with a sufficient electoral strength or with strong ideologies are willing to engage in promoting policies with short-run costs and long-run benefits.

Keywords: hurricanes, legislative activity, U.S. Congress

JEL Classification: D70, D72, H50, Q54

Suggested Citation

Gagliarducci, Stefano and Paserman, Daniele and Patacchini, Eleonora, Hurricanes, Climate Change Policies and Electoral Accountability (May 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13747. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3395184

Stefano Gagliarducci (Contact Author)

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia n.2
Rome, rome 00100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/stefanogagliarducci/

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Daniele Paserman

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, IL Jerusalem 91905
Israel

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Eleonora Patacchini

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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