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Governing for Future Generations: How Political Trust Shapes Attitudes Towards Climate and Debt Policies

May 17, 2021

Would you be willing to reduce your standard of living, so people in the future can lead better lives?

In a new paper in Frontiers in Political Science, CSSN Scholar Malcolm Fairbrother et al. surveyed public opinion about this question. They wanted to know what kinds of people would be more versus less willing, and more supportive of climate and debt policies for the benefit of future generations.

They found that people’s willingness to sacrifice significantly depends on their political trust. Among the dynamics they studied, one notable finding they saw was that people who think future living standards will rise are more willing to sacrifice.