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Risk Perception, Ambiguity, and Nuclear-Waste Transport

Author

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  • Mary Riddel

    () (Economics Department, Box 6005, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA)

Abstract

Although ambiguity has received ample attention in the theoretical expected-utility literature, measures of ambiguity are rare. Here, I present a framework for eliciting and estimating risk and ambiguity simultaneously using a risk ladder. The model, based on a variant of the induced-distribution approach of Hill, Perry, and Willis (2007, Estimating Knightian uncertainty with survival probability questions on the HRS, unpublished paper, University of Michigan), allows me to estimate risk and ambiguity jointly and derive the correlation between the two. The approach allows for heterogeneity and measurement error in the perceived risk distribution. I apply the model to data from a survey of perceived mortality risk from transporting radioactive waste to the proposed Yucca Mountain facility. The data suggest that the public perceives transport risk well in excess of that estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy. Moreover, the perceived risks are highly ambiguous. The success (and cost) of transport plans may hinge on planners’ ability to reassure and educate the public about the true risks of transport.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary Riddel, 2009. "Risk Perception, Ambiguity, and Nuclear-Waste Transport," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 781-797, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:75:3:y:2009:p:781-797
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Toshio Fujimi & Masahide Watanabe & Ryuji Kakimoto & Hirokazu Tatano, 2016. "Perceived ambiguity about earthquake and house destruction risks," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 80(2), pages 1243-1256, January.
    2. Toshio Fujimi & Masahide Watanabe & Ryuji Kakimoto & Hirokazu Tatano, 2016. "Perceived ambiguity about earthquake and house destruction risks," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 80(2), pages 1243-1256, January.
    3. Fumihiro Yamane & Kyohei Matsushita & Toshio Fujimi & Hideaki Ohgaki & Kota Asano, 2014. "A Simple Way to Elicit Subjective Ambiguity: Application to Low-dose Radiation Exposure in Fukushima," Discussion Papers 1417, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    4. Riddel, Mary, 2011. "Uncertainty and measurement error in welfare models for risk changes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 341-354, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

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