Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Wenli Yan, PhD

Second Advisor

Elsie Harper-Anderson, PhD

Third Advisor

William Newmann, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Damian Pitt, PhD


Budgets are a prospective tool of governance, and appropriations are a planning vehicle reflecting: bureaucracies’ values, complex interactions, collective preferences, political influences, and available resources. Research spanning 30 years finds that environmental pollution is a key determinant of environmental budgets in the US, though myriad factors, actors, and subsystems are important to consider. Due to federalism and devolution of responsibilities and authorities, environmental governance falls largely to the states. While the dynamics that shape state environmental budget policy have received scholarly interest, theoretically-driven examinations of environmental appropriations remain limited within the public budgeting and environmental policy literature.

Using panel data from 2010 to 2015, this dissertation examines the legal, political, institutional, and fiscal factors that influence state own-source environmental funding drawing from several theories. Given the key relationship between environmental pollution and environmental budgets—as stressed by previous scholarship—findings reveal the effects are conditioned on business interests from polluting sectors. While the interaction effect holds across funding sources, the negative budgetary influence depends on the type of air pollution modeled. Fiscal capacity is found to increase appropriations from state general funds but not appropriations from fees and other sources. Mandatory climate policies have a positive influence on budgets, though the evidence is inconsistent between models. Given cuts to federal environmental funding, flat trends in state funding, what factors influence the financing of environmental protection are of critical importance for civil society, practitioners, and public officials; therefore, this dissertation concludes with policy implications and avenues for future research.


© Andrew R. Duggan

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