Local Warming Increases Climate Policy Support: Analysis of Behavioral Intentions, Internet Searches, and US Congressional Vote Shares

26 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2020

See all articles by Matthew R. Sisco

Matthew R. Sisco

Columbia University

Elke U. Weber

Princeton University - Department of Psychology

Date Written: July 29, 2020

Abstract

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

Sisco, Matthew R. and Weber, Elke U., Local Warming Increases Climate Policy Support: Analysis of Behavioral Intentions, Internet Searches, and US Congressional Vote Shares (July 29, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3663414 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3663414

Matthew R. Sisco (Contact Author)

Columbia University ( email )

1190 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://columbia.edu/~ms4403

Elke U. Weber

Princeton University - Department of Psychology

Green Hall
Princeton, NJ 08540
United States

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