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Journal Article

Exposure to international trade lowers green voting and worsens environmental attitudes


Bez,  Charlotte Sophia
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Bosetti,  Valentina
External Organizations;

Colantone,  Italo
External Organizations;

Zanardi,  Maurizio
External Organizations;

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Bez, C. S., Bosetti, V., Colantone, I., Zanardi, M. (2023): Exposure to international trade lowers green voting and worsens environmental attitudes. - Nature Climate Change, 13, 1131-1135.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_28754
From a political perspective, advancing green agendas in democracies requires obtaining electoral support for parties and candidates proposing green platforms. It is therefore crucial to understand the factors driving green voting and attitudes. Yet, limited research has explored the role of economic determinants in this context. In this study we show that globalization, through the distributional consequences of import competition, is an important determinant of support for parties proposing green platforms. Our analysis covers the United States and 15 countries of Western Europe, over the period 2000–2019, with trade exposure measured at the level of subnational geographic areas. We find that higher trade exposure leads to lower support for more environmentalist parties and to more sceptical attitudes about climate change. Our empirical findings are in line with the theoretical channel of deprioritization of environmental concerns, as trade-induced economic distress raises the salience of economic issues.