Are elected politicians primarily motivated by holding office, thus choosing environmental policies accordingly? Or are they motivated by the chance to implement their preferred environmental policies? Do governors have character, in the sense that they promise and implement environmental policies consistent with their own preferences? To answer these questions, we study the differences in environmental spending across both re-electable and lame duck governors from the two main political parties. In our empirical analysis, we make use of parametric and non-parametric regression-discontinuity approaches. While re-electable governors do not set significantly different policies, lame duck governors do. We argue that in the area of environmental policy governors appear to be primarily office motivated and lack character.
Fredriksson, Per, Le Wang, and Khawaja Mamun. "Are Politicians Office or Policy Motivated? The Case of U.S. Governors' Environmental Policies." Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 62.2 (2011): 241-253.