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Does risk communication really decrease cooperation in climate change mitigation?

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  • Mike Farjam

    () (Department of Social Studies, Linnaeus University, Växjö Sweden; and Linnaeus University Centre for Data Intensive Sciences & Applications (DISA@LNU), Växjö Sweden)

  • Olexandr Nikolaychuk

    () (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany)

  • Giangiacomo Bravo

    () (Department of Social Studies, Linnaeus University, Växjö Sweden; and Linnaeus University Centre for Data Intensive Sciences & Applications (DISA@LNU), Växjö Sweden)

Abstract

Effective communication of risks involved in the climate change discussion is crucial and despite ambitious protection policies, the possibility of irreversible consequences actually occurring can only be diminished but never ruled out completely. We present a laboratory experiment that studies how residual risk of failure affects willingness to contribute to climate protection policies. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, we find that the contributions were higher in treatments with residual risk than in treatments without one. We interpret this as an outcome of a psychological process where residual risk puts participants into an "alarm mode", keeping their contributions high. We discuss the broad practical implications this might have on the real world communication of climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • Mike Farjam & Olexandr Nikolaychuk & Giangiacomo Bravo, 2017. "Does risk communication really decrease cooperation in climate change mitigation?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2017-014, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2017-014
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Scott Barrett & Astrid Dannenberg, 2014. "On the Sensitivity of Collective Action to Uncertainty about Climate Tipping Points," CESifo Working Paper Series 4643, CESifo Group Munich.
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    4. Bohnet, Iris & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2004. "Trust, risk and betrayal," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 467-484, December.
    5. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
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    7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    8. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    9. Astrid Dannenberg & Andreas Löschel & Gabriele Paolacci & Christiane Reif & Alessandro Tavoni, 2015. "On the Provision of Public Goods with Probabilistic and Ambiguous Thresholds," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 61(3), pages 365-383, July.
    10. Mike Farjam, 2015. "On whom would I want to depend; Humans or nature?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-019, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    collective risk social dilemma; climate change mitigation; voluntary contribution; experiment; risk;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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