This paper develops a political economy model which determines the conditions of cycles in environmental regulation. It analyzes the impact of both interest groups and voters who have biased political beliefs. Such biased beliefs are the result of the influence of activist interest groups that strategically use the beliefs formation process among ignorant voters (cascade effect). The cascade effect biases the perception of the efficiency of regulatory instruments and affects the behavior of the politician. Our model seems particularly relevant to explain the evolution of environmental policies, which are characterized by scientific controversies, such as climate change policies. The high media coverage of climate issues, as well as persistent debates among experts, is a favorable context for the influence of activist interest groups that use the public's cognitive biases.
- Collective beliefs
- Environmental regulation
- Political economy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)