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Seeing what can(not) be seen: confirmation bias, employment dynamics and climate change

Alessia Cafferata (), Marwil Dávila-Fernández and Serena Sordi ()

Department of Economics University of Siena from Department of Economics, University of Siena

Abstract: Psychologists among other behavioural scientists refer to the tendency of favouring, interpreting, and searching for information that supports one's prior beliefs as confirmation bias. Using Twitter data, we illustrate how this might affect environmental attitudes by contrasting #ClimateChangeIsReal and #ClimateChangeHoax engagement. Given the relevance of the topic to the field, we develop an agent-based model to investigate how employment conditions affect attitudes towards climate policies under such a cognitive bias. It is shown that persistent endogenous fluctuations might emerge via a super-critical Neimark-Sacker bifurcation. Furthermore, depending on the individual's response to the collective opinion, we might have coexistence of periodic attractors as a representation of path dependence. In terms of policy implications, we highlight that the adoption of a successful green-agenda depends on the ability of policy-makers to take advantage of favourable employment rates while appealing to different framing strategies.

Keywords: Climate change; con rmation bias; sentiment dynamics; group e ect; adaptive learning. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 E71 O44 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-env and nep-hme
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Journal Article: Seeing what can(not) be seen: Confirmation bias, employment dynamics and climate change (2021) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:usi:wpaper:839

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