Race and Concern for the Environment

Ranie Lin, Lala Ma and Toan Phan


We use survey data to document a strong heterogeneity in stated degrees of concern about environmental problems across racial groups. Minorities are significantly more worried about pollution than their white counterparts, even after controlling for socioeconomic factors and pollution exposure. Our finding implies that residential sorting based on heterogeneous financial resources and heterogeneous levels of environmental concern is unlikely to be the only driver of uneven exposure to pollution across racial groups.