Saturday, January 30, 2021
Sung Eun Kim (Korea University), Nada Maamoun (University of Hamburg), Narayan Gopinathan (University of British Columbia), Johannes Urpelainen (Johns Hopkins), The Sorry State of Research on Public Opinion About Air Pollution: A Systematic Review, SSRN:
Air pollution poses a serious problem to the public health, but governments have few incentives to implement costly pollution mitigation policy without the public support. We examine the current state of research on public opinion about air pollution by reviewing the three largest journal article databases for the entire period until 2018. We only identify 33 relevant articles. They are geographically biased toward a few developed countries, with limited attention paid to developing countries that face a greater level of challenges from air pollution. By conducting a meta-analysis with these articles, we report a few consistent predictors employed in these studies and summarize the findings. We find that education and income consistently appear to increase the public awareness of air pollution and support for air pollution mitigation policies, yet the evidence is less conclusive for less frequently examined variables. Our results call for a new wave of public opinion studies on air pollution that covers a broader geographical area and includes developing countries.