Pollution, politics, and preferences for environmental spending in the states

Adam J. Newmark, Christopher Witko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


While state environmental and natural resource spending is designed to address actual environmental problems, the budget process is also inherently political. Thus, in the following article we ask a simple question: to what extent does state environmental and natural resource spending respond to the scope of environmental problems in a state, versus the demands of the political process? Unlike the bulk of previous research, we consider both aggregate spending and program-specific spending. We also consider how the severity of environmental problems and the political environment may interact to determine spending. The findings show that politics, specifically the strength of the environmental movement, is a more important determinant of state environmental spending than pollution severity. However, for some program areas, it appears that strong environmental groups make state budgets more responsive to the severity of environmental problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-308
Number of pages18
JournalReview of Policy Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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