Toward a Comparative Measure of Climate Policy Output

Abstract: Comparative policy studies face a number of methodological challenges where conceptualization of the object of comparison—policy output—is the most fundamental. On the basis of three common approaches of the study of policy output, we reconsider this widely applied concept and propose a refined measure as a function of both density (number of policy instruments) and intensity (content of policy instruments). We theoretically derive six policy-intensity measures (objectives, scope, integration, budget, implementation, and monitoring), which are used for weighting national policy instruments on an Index of Climate Policy Activity. The article presents an empirical application of this measurement approach. Focusing on national climate policy instruments in the energy production sector in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, we investigate changes in the countries’ policy portfolios from 1998 to 2010. The article demonstrates that our Index of Climate Policy Activity provides a reliable and valid measurement for national policy output that can be applied for comparative analyses of policy output.


License CC BY-NC-ND
Type Journal Articles
C-ID POLS 130 - Comparative
Pedagogical Note Not Yet