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Linking human destruction of nature to COVID-19 increases support for wildlife conservation policies

Shreedhar, Ganga and Mourato, Susana (2020) Linking human destruction of nature to COVID-19 increases support for wildlife conservation policies. Environmental and Resource Economics. ISSN 0924-6460

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10640-020-00444-x

Abstract

This paper investigates if narratives varying the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic affects pro-wildlife conservation outcomes. In a pre-registered online experiment (N = 1081), we randomly allocated subjects to either a control group or to one of three narrative treatment groups, each presenting a different likely cause of the COVID-19 outbreak: an animal cause; an animal and human cause (AHC); and an animal, human or lab cause. We found that the AHC narrative elicited significantly greater pro-conservation policy support, especially for bans in the commercial trade of wildlife, when compared to the control group. Possible mechanisms driving this effect are that AHC narratives were less familiar, elicited higher mental and emotional engagement, and induced feelings that firms and governments are responsible for mitigating wildlife extinction.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.springer.com/journal/10640
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Geography & Environment
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D62 - Externalities
D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D64 - Altruism
D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q2 - Renewable Resources and Conservation > Q20 - General
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q2 - Renewable Resources and Conservation > Q28 - Government Policy
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C9 - Design of Experiments > C99 - Other
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2020 15:06
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 08:51
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/105297

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