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Bright Lines, Risk Beliefs, and Risk Avoidance: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention in Bangladesh

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Author Info

  • Lori Bennear
  • Alessandro Tarozzi
  • Alexander Pfaff
  • H. B. Soumya
  • Kazi Matin Ahmed
  • Alexander van Geen

Abstract

We randomized 43 villages in Bangladesh to receive information on well-water arsenic that emphasized water safety relative to the national standard (bright-line message) or provided additional information on how risks from exposure increase with arsenic levels (gradient message). The gradient message led to 50% more switching of water sources when the arsenic level was moderately unsafe, but 40% less switching at high arsenic levels. The differences in behavior are at least partially explained by differences in risk perception that developed after the information campaign.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Duke University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 10-77.

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Length: 42
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:10-77

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Postal: Department of Economics Duke University 213 Social Sciences Building Box 90097 Durham, NC 27708-0097
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://econ.duke.edu/

Related research

Keywords: Beliefs; Information; Health risk; Arsenic; Drinking water; Bangladesh;

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References

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  9. Madajewicz, Malgosia & Pfaff, Alexander & van Geen, Alexander & Graziano, Joseph & Hussein, Iftikhar & Momotaj, Hasina & Sylvi, Roksana & Ahsan, Habibul, 2007. "Can information alone change behavior? Response to arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 731-754, November.
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  13. Jay Shimshack, 2004. "Are Mercury Advisories Effective? Inofrmation, Education, and Fish Consumption," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0423, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
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  18. Erick Gong, 2011. "HIV Testing and Risky Sexual Behavior," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 1101, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
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