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An Experimental Investigation of the Impacts of Persuasion and Information Acquisition on Non-Use Values for Climate Change Adaptation

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  • Tanya O’Garra
  • Susanna Mourato

Abstract

Focusing on the estimation of WTP for climate change adaptation projects in vulnerable areas around the world, this study explores the divergence between economic non-use values produced using a standard CV survey approach, and those produced using a persuasive’ CV survey in which most sources of informational bias are systematically exploited to maximise expressed WTP. We interact the persuasion analysis with a cross-cutting treatment involving optional information access. It is proposed that allowing respondents to voluntarily access added information emulates rather more closely consumer pre-purchase behaviour in the market. We examine information acquisition using two treatments: a pre-set default option (the default is “no added information wanted”) versus an “active decision” option (“would you like added information?”). The interactions produce an eight-cell experimental design. We find that, contrary to expectations, the persuasion treatment has a negative influence on WTP. We also find that persuasive information appears to dissuade respondents from accessing added information when this is offered as an opt-in default. Effort spent accessing added information has a strong influence on WTP but the sign on the coefficient varies depending on how the information was offered to respondents.

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Paper provided by Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in its series Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers with number 125.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp125

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  1. Löfgren, Åsa & Martinsson, Peter & Hennlock, Magnus & Sterner, Thomas, 2012. "Are experienced people affected by a pre-set default option—Results from a field experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 66-72.
  2. John List, 2001. "Do explicit warnings eliminate the hypothetical bias in elicitation procedures? Evidence from field auctions for sportscards," Framed Field Experiments 00163, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Kevin J. Boyle, 1989. "Commodity Specification and the Framing of Contingent-Valuation Questions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(1), pages 57-63.
  4. Schulze, William D. & McClelland, Gary H. & Lazo, Jeffrey K. & Rowe, Robert D., 1998. "Embedding and calibration in measuring non-use values," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 163-178, June.
  5. Karl C. Samples & John A. Dixon & KMarcia M. Gowen, 1986. "Information Disclosure and Endangered Species Valuation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(3), pages 306-312.
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