IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does risk communication really decrease cooperation in climate change mitigation?


  • 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)


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Scott Barrett & Astrid Dannenberg, 2014. "On the Sensitivity of Collective Action to Uncertainty about Climate Tipping Points," CESifo Working Paper Series 4643, CESifo.
    2. Bates, Douglas & Mächler, Martin & Bolker, Ben & Walker, Steve, 2015. "Fitting Linear Mixed-Effects Models Using lme4," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 67(i01).
    3. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
    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.
    6. Fairley, Kim & Sanfey, Alan & Vyrastekova, Jana & Weitzel, Utz, 2016. "Trust and risk revisited," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 74-85.
    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Farjam, Mike & Nikolaychuk, Olexandr & Bravo, Giangiacomo, 2019. "Experimental evidence of an environmental attitude-behavior gap in high-cost situations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 1-1.
    2. Neli Aparecida de Mello-Théry & Eduardo de Lima Caldas & Beatriz M. Funatsu & Damien Arvor & Vincent Dubreuil, 2020. "Climate Change and Public Policies in the Brazilian Amazon State of Mato Grosso: Perceptions and Challenges," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(12), pages 1-20, June.

    More about this item


    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2017-014. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Markus Pasche). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.