Consideration for the impact of climate change information on stated preferences

Boaz Barak, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

This study identifies the effects of different types of climate change information on people's stated willingness to support public programs to reduce the impacts of climate change. The models developed in this research provide the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve with tools for evaluating outreach programs. By approaching the issue of information effects with environmental economic research methods, this study provides a multidisciplinary approach for designing informative programs that better achieve the goal of informed decision making by the local communities. ^ Focus group findings guided the design of information treatments that address people's mental models for climate change. Two primary topics of information were identified, human health and safety and natural habitat concerns related to climate change. Further, passive and active forms of information treatments were created for each of these topics. ^ A stated contingent choice survey was administered to 215 subjects in Cape Cod, Massachusetts to test the effects of the information treatments. In each question, subjects were presented with the outcomes of implementing three different hypothetical climate change mitigation programs. The survey measured changes in preferences for the attributes of human health and safety, wellbeing of the natural habitat, and program cost as they relate to climate change. ^ Random parameters logit models estimated the effects of different types of information on respondents' preferences. ^ Results showed that passive information had a greater effect than active information on preferences for attributes directly related to the information topic, while active information had a greater effect on preferences for attributes not directly related to the information. Human-focused information had a greater effect than nature-focused information on preferences for both the attribute directly related to the information and the attribute not directly related to the information. Preferences for the attribute of cost showed no significant effect resulting from the information treatments, suggesting that alternative informational programs that directly address issues related to the cost of mitigating and protecting against climate change are needed. ^

Subject Area

Economics, General

Recommended Citation

Boaz Barak, "Consideration for the impact of climate change information on stated preferences" (2006). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3248223.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI3248223

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