Do Economic Conditions Affect Climate Change Beliefs and Support for Climate Action? Evidence from the U.S. in the Wake of the Great Recession
70 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2020 Last revised: 17 Aug 2021
Date Written: June 19, 2020
I show that climate skepticism increases with negative economic shocks and that effects are concentrated among individuals in the labor force. I primarily employ a panel of US individuals in the period following the Great Recession, but also find consistent results with an alternative instrumental variables strategy. Among labor force participants, a one percentage point increase in the local unemployment rate leads to a 3 to 5 percentage point decrease in the probability of believing climate change is real and requires action. I conclude that support for climate change policies could depend on labor market conditions.
Keywords: climate change, unemployment, belief formation, public opinion, Great Recession
JEL Classification: D78, D83, E24, E32, Q54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation