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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

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    1. Scott Barrett & Astrid Dannenberg, 2014. "On the Sensitivity of Collective Action to Uncertainty about Climate Tipping Points," CESifo Working Paper Series 4643, CESifo.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mike Farjam & Olexandr Nikolaychuk & Giangiacomo Bravo, 2019. "Investing into climate change mitigation despite the risk of failure," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 453-460, June.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    collective risk social dilemma; climate change mitigation; voluntary contribution; experiment; risk;
    All these keywords.

    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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