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The determinants of households' flood mitigation decisions in France - on the possibility of feedback effects from past investments

Claire Richert, Katrin Erdlenbruch () and Charles Figuieres ()

Ecological Economics, 2017, vol. 131, issue C, 342-352

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the determinants of private flood mitigation in France. We conducted a survey among 331 inhabitants of two flood-prone areas and collected data on several topics, including individual flood mitigation, risk perception, risk experience, and sociodemographic characteristics. We estimate discrete choice models to explain either the precautionary measures taken by the household, or the intention to undertake such measures in the future. Our results confirm that the Protection Motivation Theory is a relevant framework to describe the mechanisms of private flood mitigation in France, highlighting in particular the importance of threat appraisal and previous experience of floods. Some sociodemographic features also play a significant role in explaining private flood mitigation. We also observed that respondents who had already taken precautionary measures have a lower perception of the risk of flooding than respondents who planned to implement such measures at the time of the survey. This result can be explained by the existence of a feedback effect of having taken precautionary measures on risk perception. If subsequent studies support this assumption, it would imply that intended measures, rather than implemented ones, should be examined to explore further the determinants of private flood mitigation.

Keywords: Floods; Risk; Mitigation; Risk perception; France (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q54 D81 R22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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