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Choi -

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Review of Policy Research


Public support is a key contributor to successful policy adoption and implementation. Given the urgency of climate change mitigation, scholars have explored various determinants that affect public support for climate change mitigation policy. However, the relative decisiveness of these factors in shaping public support is insufficiently examined. Therefore, we deploy interpretable machine learning to understand which factors, among many previously investigated, are most decisive for structuring public support for various climate change mitigation policies. In this paper, we particularly look at the decisiveness of problem definition for shaping public support among various factors. Using U.S national survey data, we find that how individuals define the issue of climate change is more decisive for structuring public support for promoting renewable energy and regulating pollutants to mitigate the risks associated with climate change. However, the results also indicate that the most decisive factors associated with public support vary depending on the types of mitigation policy. We conclude that different strategies should be utilized to increase public support for various climate change mitigation policy options. Our findings contribute to a scholarly understanding of the specific politics of problem definition in the context of environmental and climate change policy.


"This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [Politics of problem definition: Comparing public support of climate change mitigation policies using machine learning. Review of Policy Research, 00, 1– 31], which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited."

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