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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lori Bennear & Alessandro Tarozzi & Alexander Pfaff & H. B. Soumya & Kazi Matin Ahmed & Alexander van Geen, 2010. "Bright Lines, Risk Beliefs, and Risk Avoidance: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention in Bangladesh," Working Papers 10-77, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:10-77
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John A. List & Michael K. Price, 2013. "Using Field Experiments in Environmental and Resource Economics," NBER Working Papers 19289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John A. List & Michael K. Price, 2016. "Editor's Choice The Use of Field Experiments in Environmental and Resource Economics," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(2), pages 206-225.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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