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Willingness to Sacrifice for Climate Mitigation in Representative Samples of Indian Adults

This paper studies people’s willingness to sacrifice to achieve climate mitigation using a new-survey experiment that is representative of adults in the Indian state of Rajasthan and the city of Mumbai. In contrast to developed countries, few studies investigate climate policy preferences or willingness to sacrifice for mitigation in developing countries, and even fewer use samples representative of the population.

In Rajasthan and Mumbai, 4340 respondents, who reported having electricity at home, were administered a randomized experiment that was designed to allow a description of a demand curve for mitigation: by how much demand for mitigation decrease as the ‘price’ of mitigation increases. Each participant was asked about a random hypothetical sacrifice scenario involving their willingness to accept electricity cut for one of the following: one additional hour per day, three additional hours per day, or five additional hours per day.

The study finds that most respondents are willing to accept some electricity cuts to prevent climate damages and the demand curve slopes down, meaning that fewer respondents are willing to accept larger costs of mitigation. Moreover, respondents who reported that temperatures are increasing and that this is bad were more likely to report being willing to accept electricity cuts for mitigation than those who either did not report that temperatures are increasing or did not report that this is bad.

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Download Published: IZA Policy Paper Series       Geography: India