Revisiting Partisan Politics of Environmental Policy: Are Left-wing Governments Always Eco-friendly?

05 April 2024, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


It has been well-documented that left-wing governments commit to more stringent environmental protection than their right-wing counterparts. This conventional wisdom is challenged by a recent increase in outsiders in labour markets among left-wing voters. Such voters are less likely to prefer environmental protection due to economic distress. By analysing a panel dataset covering 23 OECD member countries from 1999 to 2015, this paper explores how the size of the outsiders conditions the relationship between government partisanship and environmental policy stringency. I assess governments' environmental policies using the index proposed by Botta & Kozluk (2014) and measure the size of outsiders as the share of temporary workers. The empirical analysis does not uncover any partisan differences in environmental policies when the size of outsiders is small. The findings suggest that a larger share of temporary workers is associated with less stringent environmental policies under left-dominant governments.


environmental protection
outsiders in labour market


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