Do Economic Conditions Influence Environmental Policy?Evidence from the U.S. Senate

Posted: 24 Mar 2021

See all articles by Grant Jacobsen

Grant Jacobsen

University of Oregon - School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management

Date Written: January 1, 2013

Abstract

This paper investigates whether economic conditions influence environmental policy by examining how policymakers voting on environmental legislation respond to changes in their state's unemployment rate. The outcome of interest is a U.S. Senator's League of Conservation Voters score, which reflects how often a senator voted for the environmentally-favorable outcome on bills related to the environment in a given year. I find evidence that a higher unemployment rate is associated with reduced support for environmentally-favorable policies, and that the estimated response is largest for Republicans. Counterfactual estimates indicate that if each state had experienced its lowest observed unemployment rate throughout the sample, then the proportion of votes taking the environmentally-favorable outcome would have increased from 36% to 41%.

Keywords: environmental policy, unemployment rate, LCV scores, Congressional voting

JEL Classification: D77, E24, O44, Q58

Suggested Citation

Jacobsen, Grant, Do Economic Conditions Influence Environmental Policy?Evidence from the U.S. Senate (January 1, 2013). Economics Letters, Vol. 120, No. 2, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3788548

Grant Jacobsen (Contact Author)

University of Oregon - School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management ( email )

1280 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States

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