Economic conditions and support for the prioritisation of environmental protection during the Great Recession

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Evidence is presented of how the Great Recession affected prioritisation of environmental protection. World Values Survey data from both before the recession’s onset and its aftermath shows that increases in unemployment rates had significant, negative effects upon prioritisation of environmental protection while changing growth rates or gross domestic product (GDP) had none. These results hold not only among advanced industrial democracies, but also generalise to Latin American countries. Additionally, the findings offer no evidence that the recession changed the way in which individual wealth relates to the prioritisation of environmental protection. As a strong environmental public opinion is an important factor in the successful implementation of environmental policy, the findings suggest that, if policymakers wish to maintain public support for implementing environmental protection measures, they should prioritise low unemployment over economic growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-958
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Issue number6
Early online date22 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2020


  • economic recession
  • environmental attitudes
  • unemployment
  • public opinion
  • World Values Survey

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