Electoral Chair’s Seminar – 1 May

Grandparents for future? Opinion on climate change and generational solidarity from a family perspective

Marie Heldgaard Seestedt-University of Copenhagen

The generational contract is under pressure in ageing democracies where expectations that the next generation will be better off than their parents are declining. One reason for this is climate change – an issue where the most severe consequences will mainly be felt by younger generations. However, for many individuals, the younger generation is not an abstract other but rather someone they have relations to through family ties. Still, the role of family ties in mitigating generational divides in this area has rarely been considered, especially not looking at family members more than one generation apart.

The aim of this study is to investigate the link between family relations and opinion on climate change, focusing on whether becoming a grandparent matters for opinion formation among middle-aged and older adults. Using Danish registries to determine the exact timing of grandparenthood, the study utilizes exogenous variation in a real world setting. It hereby contributes with knowledge on the causal link between family ties and concern for climate change among older generations who make up an increasing part of the electorate.

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This content has been updated on 24 April 2024 at 17 h 05 min.