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Elections and Environmental Quality

Nicolae Stef () and Sami Ben Jabeur ()
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Nicolae Stef: Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté
Sami Ben Jabeur: Institute of Sustainable Business and Organizations, Sciences and Humanities Confluence Research Center - UCLY, ESDES

Environmental & Resource Economics, 2023, vol. 84, issue 2, No 9, 593-625

Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates how political elections influence environmental quality. From this perspective, we rely on the reward-punishment hypothesis (RPH) developed by democratic accountability theories. RPH implies that legislators can be held accountable by voters for increased pollution and/or environmental disasters. Consequently, incumbent politicians tend to limit environmental degradation during election campaigns because voters may switch their political preference as punishment for such degradations. Using a panel data set of 67 developed democracies over the period 2002–2015, our estimates reveal that the environmental quality tends to improve during the periods of legislative elections mainly in non-OECD countries. Such results provide evidence of the capacity of voters to influence incumbent politicians to embrace pro-environmental behavior as legislative elections approach.

Keywords: CO2 emissions; Elections; Politicians; Voters; Democracy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K32 O13 P48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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DOI: 10.1007/s10640-022-00739-1

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