The Political Consequences of Green Policies: Evidence from Italy

54 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2022

See all articles by Italo Colantone

Italo Colantone

Bocconi University

Livio Di Lonardo

Bocconi University

Yotam Margalit

Tel Aviv University

Marco Percoco

Bocconi University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2022

Abstract

For many governments enacting green policies is a priority, but these often entail substantial and uneven costs on citizens. How does the introduction of green policies affect voting? We study this question in the context of a major ban on polluting cars introduced in Milan. The policy was strongly opposed by the right-wing populist party Lega, portraying it as a “radical-chic-leftist” initiative penalizing common people. We show that owners of banned vehicles—who incurred a median loss of €3,750—were significantly more likely to vote for Lega in the subsequent elections. This electoral shift does not stem from increased environmental skepticism, but rather from the perceived unfairness of the policy and its pocketbook implications. In fact, recipients of compensation from the local government were not more likely to switch to Lega. The findings underscore that addressing the distributive consequences is key for advancing green policies that are politically sustainable.

Keywords: environmental politics, green policies, distributional consequences, compensation mechanisms

JEL Classification: P100, D700, Q500

Suggested Citation

Colantone, Italo and Di Lonardo, Livio and Margalit, Yotam and PERCOCO, MARCO, The Political Consequences of Green Policies: Evidence from Italy (2022). CESifo Working Paper No. 9599, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4048520 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4048520

Italo Colantone (Contact Author)

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Livio Di Lonardo

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Yotam Margalit

Tel Aviv University ( email )

Tel Aviv
Israel

HOME PAGE: http://www.ymargalit.net

MARCO PERCOCO

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

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