Human Capital and Climate Change
Addressing climate change requires individual behavior change and voter support for pro-climate policies, yet surprisingly little is known about how to achieve these outcomes. In this paper, we estimate causal effects of additional education on pro-climate outcomes using new compulsory schooling law data across 16 European countries. We analyze effects on pro-climate beliefs, behaviors, policy preferences, and novel data on voting for green parties – a particularly consequential outcome to combat climate change. Results show a year of education increases pro-climate beliefs, behaviors, most policy preferences, and green voting, with voting gains equivalent to a substantial 35% increase.
The authors thank Diego Ambasz and Javier Sanchez-Reaza for in-depth comments and expertise. Additional useful comments were provided by Rafael E. De Hoyos Navarro. The authors thank Domagoj Racic for his assistance in coding green party data in Europe and Anshuman Gupta for his careful coding of compulsory schooling law data. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
As part of a diversified portfolio, I hold more than $10,000 in stock of various public companies that may be impacted by changes in climate change policy.