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Treatment Effects of Climate Change Risk on Mitigation and Adaptation Behavior in an Experimental Setting

Journal article
Authors R Hasson
Åsa Löfgren
Martine Visser
Published in South African Journal of Economics
Volume 80
Issue 3
Pages 415-430
ISSN 0038-2280
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Economics
Pages 415-430
Language en
Subject categories Economics

Abstract

This paper explores the collective action problem as it relates to climate change and develops two models that capture the mitigation–adaptation trade-off. The first model presents climate change as a disaster that will occur with certainty, and where both mitigation and adaptation reduce the size of the loss associated with the disaster (the so-called deterministic model). The second model presents climate change as an uncertain event, where mitigation affects the probability of disaster while adaptation again reduces the size of the loss (this is the so-called stochastic model). Comparing the two models in a one-shot public goods experiment with students, we find no significant differences in subjects' choice to mitigate. The experiments also reveal a relatively low rate of mitigation for both models compared with earlier studies.

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