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Economic insecurity, conservatism, and the crisis of environmentalism: 30 years of evidence

Demetrio Panarello

Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 2021, vol. 73, issue C

Abstract: There is an ongoing scientific debate about how environmental concern develops in a population, and under which circumstances it might decline at some point. In this paper, by analysing thirty years of microdata from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), I investigate the role of socioeconomic factors and political preferences in altering and addressing environmental perceptions in Germany, Europe's green leader. Results from correlated random-effects models reveal, inter alia, that economic insecurity and support for right-wing political parties significantly contribute to lowering environmental concern. Hence, policymakers ought to focus on economic insecurity in order to increase citizens' environmental concern and, eventually, bring an enhancement in pro-environmental behaviour as a result of the voters' political will.

Keywords: Environmental concern; Economic uncertainty; Left and right wing; Climate change; Europe; German SOEP (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.seps.2020.100925

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