Environment and Political Preferences: Is Left-wing Liberalism or Conservative Leftism Better for Eco-efficiency?


American literature suggest that when Republicans are in power, the budget for environmental protection is being cut. On the other hand, in US cities where more people vote for Democrats local governments received more energy-efficiency grants and are more likely to adopt environmentally sustainable policy. However, political context of European countries is usually much more complex as there exist different hybrids of economic views and core social values. Furthermore, usually more political parties are involved in competition for power. The main goal of this paper was to estimate the long-term impact of political preferences on the eco-efficiency level in Polish country districts. The eco-efficiency was calculated as a ratio of economic development (measured by districts own income) and environmental pressure in four dimensions: soil pollution, water pollution, air pollution and bio-uniformity. Double bootstrapped truncated regression on the unique set of data was used to capture the effects of the political views proxied by electoral decisions and individual willingness to adopt agri-environmental schemes. The most important finding was that the rule of local authorities originating from large national parties was positive determinants of eco-efficiency against the background of local committees. Simultaneously, counties where left-wing but market liberal views prevailed were characterized by the highest eco-efficiency level in relation to other options. Higher share of well-educated councilors and high population density were further positive drivers of eco-efficiency level. There is also a strong evidence that transnational environmental payments (i.e. EU Common Agricultural Policy schemes) had also a positive impact on eco-efficiency.

Author Information
Anna Matuszczak, Poznan University of Economics and Business, Poland
Łukasz Kryszak, Poznan University of Economics and Business, Poland
Bazyli Czyżewski, Poznan University of Economics and Business, Poland
Artur Łopatka, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation – State Research Institute, Poland

Paper Information
Conference: ACSEE2020
Stream: Economic Sustainability: Environmental Challenges and Economic Growth

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon