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Updating Subjective Risks in the Presence of Conflicting Information: An Application to Climate Change

  • Trudy Ann Cameron


    (Department of Economics, University of Oregon)

Willingness to support public programs for risk management often depends on individual subjective risk perceptions in the face of uncertain science. As part of a larger study concerning climate change, we explore individual updated subjective risks as a function of individual priors, the nature of external information, and individual attributes. We examine several rival hypotheses about how subjective risks change in the face of new information (Bayesian updating, alarmist learning, and ambiguity aversion). The source and nature of external information, as well as its collective ambiguity, can have varying effects across the population, in terms of both expectations and uncertainty.

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Paper provided by University of Oregon Economics Department in its series University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers with number 2003-8.

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Length: 44
Date of creation: 14 Jul 2001
Date of revision: 14 Jul 2001
Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2003-8
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  1. Viscusi, W Kip, 1997. "Alarmist Decisions with Divergent Risk Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1657-70, November.
  2. DeShazo, J. R. & Fermo, German, 2002. "Designing Choice Sets for Stated Preference Methods: The Effects of Complexity on Choice Consistency," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 123-143, July.
  3. Cameron, Trudy Ann & Englin, Jeffrey, 1997. "Respondent Experience and Contingent Valuation of Environmental Goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 296-313, July.
  4. V. Kerry Smith & Donald H. Taylor & Frank A. Sloan, 2001. "Longevity Expectations and Death: Can People Predict Their Own Demise?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1126-1134, September.
  5. W. Kip Viscusi & Wesley A. Magat & Joel Huber, 1986. "Informational Regulation of Consumer Health Risks: An Empirical Evaluation of Hazard Warnings," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 351-365, Autumn.
  6. Hoehn, John P. & Randall, Alan, 2002. "The effect of resource quality information on resource injury perceptions and contingent values," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 13-31, February.
  7. Viscusi, W. Kip, 1985. "A Bayesian perspective on biases in risk perception," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 59-62.
  8. Heath, Chip & Tversky, Amos, 1991. " Preference and Belief: Ambiguity and Competence in Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-28, January.
  9. V. Kerry Smith & William H. Desvousges & F. Reed Johnson & Ann Fisher, 1990. "Can public information programs affect risk perceptions?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(1), pages 41-59.
  10. Bohara, Alok K. & McKee, Michael & Berrens, Robert P. & Jenkins-Smith, Hank & Silva, Carol L. & Brookshire, David S., 1998. "Effects of Total Cost and Group-Size Information on Willingness to Pay Responses: Open Ended vs. Dichotomous Choice," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 142-163, March.
  11. Viscusi, W Kip, 1985. "Are Individuals Bayesian Decision Makers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 381-85, May.
  12. Cameron, Trudy Ann, 2005. "Individual option prices for climate change mitigation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 283-301, February.
  13. Smith, V Kerry & Desvousges, William H, 1987. "An Empirical Analysis of the Economic Value of Risk Changes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 89-114, February.
  14. Blomquist, Glenn C. & Whitehead, John C., 1998. "Resource quality information and validity of willingness to pay in contingent valuation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 179-196, June.
  15. Viscusi, W Kip & Magat, Wesley A, 1992. " Bayesian Decisions with Ambiguous Belief Aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 371-87, October.
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521002561 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Smith, V Kerry & Desvousges, William H & Payne, John W, 1995. "Do Risk Information Programs Promote Mitigating Behavior?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 203-21, May.
  18. Hakes, Jahn K & Viscusi, W Kip, 1997. "Mortality Risk Perceptions: A Bayesian Reassessment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 135-50, November.
  19. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Using Expectations Data to Study Subjective Income Expectations," Econometrics 9411003, EconWPA.
  20. Viscusi, W Kip & O'Connor, Charles J, 1984. "Adaptive Responses to Chemical Labeling: Are Workers Bayesian Decision Makers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 942-56, December.
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  22. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1982. "Risk Perception in Psychology and Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(1), pages 1-9, January.
  23. Hersch, Joni, 1998. "Compensating Differentials for Gender-Specific Job Injury Risks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 598-627, June.
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