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Farmers’ Adaptation to Climate Change: A Framed Field Experiment

  • Alpízar, Francisco
  • Carlsson, Fredrik
  • Naranjo, Maria A.

The risk of losing income and productive means due to adverse weather can differ significantly among farmers sharing a productive landscape and is, of course, hard to estimate or even “guesstimate” empirically. Moreover, the costs associated with investments in adaptation to climate are likely to exhibit economies of scope. We explore the implications of these characteristics on Costa Rican coffee farmers’ decisions to adapt to climate change, using a framed field experiment. Despite having a baseline of high levels of risk aversion, we still found that farmers more frequently chose the safe options when the setting is characterized by unknown risk (that is, poor or unreliable risk information). Second, we found that farmers, to a large extent, coordinated their decisions to secure a lower adaptation cost and that communication among farmers strongly facilitated coordination.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-09-18-rev-efd.

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Date of creation: 03 Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-09-18-rev-efd
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  1. Jim Engle-Warnick & Javier Escobal & Sonia Laszlo, 2007. "Ambiguity Aversion as a Predictor of Technology Choice: Experimental Evidence from Peru," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-01, CIRANO.
  2. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran, 2002. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," CEPR Discussion Papers 3341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Mad cows, terrorism and junk food: Should public policy reflect perceived or objective risks?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 234-248, March.
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