Local Warming Increases Climate Policy Support: Analysis of Behavioral Intentions, Internet Searches, and US Congressional Vote Shares
26 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2020
Date Written: July 29, 2020
We report on four studies that examine the effects of abnormal temperature experiences on climate policy support. Study 1 shows perceived weather abnormality to be correlated with self-reported climate policy support, an effect that is robust across USA, Italy, and China but strongest in the USA. Study 2 identifies a significant effect of objective temperature abnormality on climate policy support in a large US sample. Study 3 analyzes the impacts of objective temperature abnormality on information acquisition behavior, namely Google searches about climate change and climate policies, finding strong evidence that weather abnormalities increase such searches. Lastly, Study 4 analyzes a high-effort and highly consequential behavioral outcome, voting for candidates who support climate policies, showing that experienced temperature abnormalities significantly decreased Republican candidates’ vote shares in the 2018 US midterm elections.
Keywords: local warming effect, climate policy support, climate mitigation behavior
JEL Classification: Q54, Q58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation