Environmental protection preferences under strain: an analysis of the impact of changing individual perceptions of economic and financial conditions on environmental public opinion during economic crisis

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This paper uses panel survey data from 2002 to 2008 – covering a period of economic prosperity and intense economic difficulties – to analyse the impact of changing levels of economic and financial security from the 2008 economic crisis on individuals’ environmental protection preferences. Declining economic conditions in the aftermath of the crisis have been thought to produce lower levels of support for environmental protection and previous literature has predominantly supported this claim. Due to the availability of data, most analyses undertaken to date have focused on aggregate changes using repeated cross-sectional data and various economic indicators. Research looking at individual-level change and how individuals’ perceptions of changing economic conditions may affect their prioritization of environmental protection has however been lacking. This paper finds that neither changing economic perceptions nor changing household financial circumstances can account for the decline in environmental protection prioritization witnessed in the aftermath of the great recession.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-124
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties
Issue number1
Early online date31 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018

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