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Facing Change - Identity and Cross-National Responses to Climate Change
This article uncovers a new finding - when countries are wealthier, a gap emerges whereby women are more likely than men to express concern about climate change. Existing explanations for gender gaps in political preferences cannot explain this pattern. We propose a new theory about the perceived costs and benefits of climate mitigation policy. At the country level, the perceived benefits of climate change mitigation decrease with economic development, while the perceived costs increase. At the individual level, the perceived costs of mitigation, both material and psychological, increase with economic development for men more than for women. We find strong support for our theory using existing surveys, an original ten-country survey in the Americas and Europe, and extensive focus group data from Peru and the United States. Our findings bridge scholarship on gender, masculinity, and foreign economic policy preferences to uncover new correlates of public attitudes towards climate change.
Amanda Clayton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. Her research concerns political institutions, representation, and public policy, with a focus on gender and politics and a regional concentration in sub-Saharan Africa. Her work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, and International Organization, among other outlets. In addition, she has consulted for a range of practitioner organizations, including the World Bank (Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network, Africa Region), USAID (Women’s Political Participation and Leadership Program) and think tanks and NGOs in several developing country contexts. She received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Washington in 2014 and was a research fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School from 2014 – 2015.