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

Listed author(s):
  • Lori Bennear
  • Alessandro Tarozzi
  • Alexander Pfaff
  • H. B. Soumya
  • Kazi Matin Ahmed
  • Alexander van Geen

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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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
Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:10-77
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics Duke University 213 Social Sciences Building Box 90097 Durham, NC 27708-0097

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Web page: http://econ.duke.edu/

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  7. Erick Gong, 2011. "HIV Testing and Risky Sexual Behavior," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 1101, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
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  10. Luoto, Jill E. & Levine, David I. & Albert, Jeff, 2011. "Information and Persuasion: Achieving Safe Water Behaviors in Kenya," Working Papers 885, RAND Corporation.
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  14. Bennear, Lori S. & Olmstead, Sheila M., 2008. "The impacts of the "right to know": Information disclosure and the violation of drinking water standards," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 117-130, September.
  15. 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.
  16. Rebecca L. Thornton, 2008. "The Demand for, and Impact of, Learning HIV Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1829-1863, December.
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