Working Paper

Using Donations to the Green Party to Measure Community Environmentalism

Jun 15, 2016 | Zhongmin Wang, Cheng Xu

Summary

An empirical analysis suggests that individuals’ donations to Green Party political committees can be used to construct valid measures of community environmentalism for all areas of the United States.

Key Findings

  • Community environmentalism is an important determinant of the demand for “green” products and policies, but the literature lacks a measure of community environmentalism that can be constructed for all US areas.
  • Measures of community environmentalism based on donations to the Green Party are predictive of the demand for “green” products (e.g., hybrid vehicles and green buildings) and policies.

Abstract

This paper presents empirical evidence that measures of community environmentalism based on donations to the Green Party are predictive of the demand for green products and policies at the zip code and county levels in the United States. The primary measure of community environmentalism in the existing literature is the share of Green Party registered voters, which is publicly available for California only. Measures based on donations to the Green Party are similar in spirit to shares of Green Party registered voters, but the data are publicly available for all areas in the United States.