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The Role of Social Distrust in Risk-Benefit Analysis: A Study of the Siting of a Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility

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  • Groothuis, Peter A
  • Miller, Gail

Abstract

Distrust of social institutions is becoming an important component of risk communication and policy analysis. To assess the impact of social distrust on decision making, we examine the role of distrust of information sources on the willingness to accept a hazardous waste disposal facility in one's neighborhood. Using a prospective-reference utility model, distrust of information sources is analyzed a possible influence on individual choice in a risk-benefit tradeoff. Using contingent valuation survey data on the siting of a hazardous waste disposal facility, we find that respondents are particularly distrustful of both governmental officials and waste disposal businesses. We find that social distrust increases the perceived risk of a facility and influences the likelihood of accepting a referendum to site a hazardous waste disposal facility. The level of compensation offered in the contingent valuation scenario also is found to influence a respondent's risk perception. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Groothuis, Peter A & Miller, Gail, 1997. "The Role of Social Distrust in Risk-Benefit Analysis: A Study of the Siting of a Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 241-257, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:15:y:1997:i:3:p:241-57
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    Cited by:

    1. G. Pignataro & G. Prarolo, 2012. "One more in my backyard? Insights from the 2011 Italian nuclear referendum," Working Papers wp837, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. Nikoleta Jones, 2010. "Investigating the influence of social costs and benefits of environmental policies through social capital theory," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 43(3), pages 229-244, September.
    3. Shackley, Simon & Mander, Sarah & Reiche, Alexander, 2006. "Public perceptions of underground coal gasification in the United Kingdom," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3423-3433, December.
    4. Peter A. Groothuis & George Van Houtven & John C. Whitehead, 1998. "Using Contingent Valuation to Measure the Compensation Required to Gain Community Acceptance of a Lulu: the Case of a Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility," Public Finance Review, , vol. 26(3), pages 231-249, May.
    5. Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné, 2000. "Environmental Risk Management and the Business Firm," CIRANO Working Papers 2000s-23, CIRANO.
    6. Remoundou, Kyriaki & Kountouris, Yiannis & Koundouri, Phoebe, 2012. "Is the value of an environmental public good sensitive to the providing institution?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 381-395.
    7. De Ayala Bilbao, Amaya & Hoyos Ramos, David & Mariel Chladkova, Petr, 2012. "Landscape valuation through discrete choice experiments: Current practice and future research reflections," BILTOKI Biltoki;2012-03, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Economía Aplicada III (Econometría y Estadística).
    8. Guo, Yue & Ren, Tao, 2017. "When it is unfamiliar to me: Local acceptance of planned nuclear power plants in China in the post-fukushima era," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 113-125.

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