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Climate Change in a Public Goods Game: Investment Decision in Mitigation versus Adaptation

  • Hasson, Reviva
  • Löfgren, Åsa
  • Visser, Martine

We use behavioral and experimental economics to study a particular aspect of the economics of climate change: the potential tradeoff between countries’ investments in mitigation versus adaptation. While mitigation of greenhouse gases can be viewed as a public good, adaptation to climate change is a private good, benefiting only the country or the individual that invests in adaptation. We use a one-shot public-goods game that deviates from the standard public-goods game by introducing a stochastic term to account for probabilistic destruction in a climate-change setting. Probability density function is mapped to within-group levels of mitigation. We compare low-vulnerability and high-vulnerability treatments by varying the magnitude of disaster across treatments. Our results show that there is no significant difference in the level of mitigation across these treatments. Further, our results emphasize the important role of trust in enhancing cooperation.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-09-23-efd.

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Date of creation: 15 Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-09-23-efd
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