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Subjective risk belief function in the field: Evidence from cooking fuel choices and health in India

Hide-Fumi Yokoo, Toshi Arimura, Mriduchhanda Chattopadhyay and Hajime Katayama
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Mriduchhanda Chattopadhyay: Graduate School of Economics, Waseda University, 1-6-1 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Japan.

RIEEM Discussion Paper Series from Research Institute for Environmental Economics and Management, Waseda University

Abstract: We investigate the accuracy of the perceptions of health risks in India. To examine systematic risk misperception, which is relevant to policy debates, we present the concept of the subjective risk belief function (SRBF). The context of our study is the risk of developing physical symptoms related to household air pollution caused by cooking. Using field data collected from 588 respondents in 17 villages in West Bengal, we regress the probability of symptoms conditional on fuel choices to estimate the respondent-specific health risk changes. Then, we elicit the subjective probabilistic beliefs using an interactive method with visual aids. Considering the estimated risks as objective risks, we estimate the linear SRBF. Our estimated coefficient of the average SRBF is in the range of 0.58 to 0.79, which implies a slight underestimation of the change in risk when switching from cooking with firewood to cooking with liquefied petroleum gas, although the respondents have a qualitatively accurate belief. We further find that risk misperception is correlated with religion but not with age or education.

Keywords: Belief; Cooking fuel choice; Health risk; India; Risk misperception; Subjective probabilistic expectation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 D84 I12 O13 Q53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2020-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-env and nep-hea
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Related works:
Journal Article: Subjective risk belief function in the field: Evidence from cooking fuel choices and health in India (2023) Downloads
Working Paper: Subjective risk belief function in the field: Evidence from cooking fuel choices and health in India (2021) Downloads
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