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An Experimental Investigation of the Impacts of Persuasion and Information Acquisition on Non-Use Values for Climate Change Adaptation


  • Tanya O�Garra
  • Susanna Mourato


Focusing on the estimation of WTP for climate change adaptation projects in vulnerable areas around the world, this study explores the divergence between economic non-use values produced using a standard CV survey approach, and those produced using a persuasive� CV survey in which most sources of informational bias are systematically exploited to maximise expressed WTP. We interact the persuasion analysis with a cross-cutting treatment involving optional information access. It is proposed that allowing respondents to voluntarily access added information emulates rather more closely consumer pre-purchase behaviour in the market. We examine information acquisition using two treatments: a pre-set default option (the default is �no added information wanted�) versus an �active decision� option (�would you like added information?�). The interactions produce an eight-cell experimental design. We find that, contrary to expectations, the persuasion treatment has a negative influence on WTP. We also find that persuasive information appears to dissuade respondents from accessing added information when this is offered as an opt-in default. Effort spent accessing added information has a strong influence on WTP but the sign on the coefficient varies depending on how the information was offered to respondents.

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  • Tanya O�Garra & Susanna Mourato, 2013. "An Experimental Investigation of the Impacts of Persuasion and Information Acquisition on Non-Use Values for Climate Change Adaptation," GRI Working Papers 125, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  • Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp125

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    1. Löfgren, Åsa & Martinsson, Peter & Hennlock, Magnus & Sterner, Thomas, 2012. "Are experienced people affected by a pre-set default option—Results from a field experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 66-72.
    2. Karl C. Samples & John A. Dixon & KMarcia M. Gowen, 1986. "Information Disclosure and Endangered Species Valuation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(3), pages 306-312.
    3. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
    4. Kevin J. Boyle, 1989. "Commodity Specification and the Framing of Contingent-Valuation Questions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(1), pages 57-63.
    5. Schulze, William D. & McClelland, Gary H. & Lazo, Jeffrey K. & Rowe, Robert D., 1998. "Embedding and calibration in measuring non-use values," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 163-178, June.
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