FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
2012 .097

Are Democrats Greener than Republicans? The Case of California Air Quality


Authors: Y.H. Farzin and C.A. Bond 
Series: Climate Change and Sustainable Development
Editor: Carlo Carraro
Keywords: Political Party Affiliation, Environmental Regulation, Air Pollution
JEL n.: Q51, Q58, D78

Abstract

When it comes to environmental quality preferences, it is popularly believed that Democrats (and more generally, liberals) are “green” while Republicans” (conservatives) are “brown”. Does empirical evidence support this popular belief? We test the hypothesis that regional political identification leads to differences in concentration outcomes for several measures of California air pollution indicators, including CO, NO2, SO2, O3, PM10, and PM2.5 concentrations. We employ two alternative identification strategies on county-level cluster and year panel data that include proxy variables for political party preferences of the local populace, as well as controlling for the political party affiliations at the state-level legislative and executive branches. In general, we do not find a consistent and statistically significant relationship between pollution outcomes and political variables for California. The popular belief is empirically supported only for NO2 and O3, but not for any of the other pollutants, and even in these two cases the relationship only holds at the local regulatory level and not at the state policymaking level. At the state level, for most of the pollutants no significant effect of party affiliation is identified, and in the rare cases where such an effect exists, it is either too weak to be conclusive or is even counter to popular belief.

Download file
Download PDF file

FEEM Newsletter & Update

Subscribe to stay connected.

Your personal data will be processed by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei. – data Controller – with the aim of emailing the FEEM newsletter & Update. The use of Your email address is necessary for the implementation of the newsletter service. You are invited to read the Privacy Policy in order to obtain additional information about the protection of Your rights.

This Website uses technical cookies and cookie analytics, as well as “third party” profiling cookies.
If you close this banner or you decide to continue navigating on this Website, you express consent to the use of cookies. If you need additional information or you wish to express selective choices on the use of cookies, please refer to the   Cookie PolicyI agree