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Interests, Norms and Support for the Provision of Global Public Goods: The Case of Climate Co-operation
Journal Article

Mitigating climate change requires countries to provide a global public good. This means that the domestic cleavages underlying mass attitudes toward international climate policy are a central determinant of its provision. We argue that the industry-specific costs of emission abatement and internalized social norms help explain support for climate policy. To evaluate our predictions we develop novel measures of industry-specific interests by cross-referencing individuals’ sectors of employment and objective industry-level pollution data and employing quasi-behavioral measures of social norms in combination with both correlational and conjoint-experimental data. We find that individuals working in pollutive industries are 7 percentage points less likely to support climate co-operation than individuals employed in cleaner sectors. Our results also suggest that reciprocal and altruistic individuals are about 10 percentage points more supportive of global climate policy. These findings indicate that both interests and norms function as complementary explanations that improve our understanding of individual policy preferences.

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