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Posts Tagged ‘Experimental Economics’

Sure, "Saving Our Grandchildren From Climate Change" Sounds Nice…

You want to know what the biggest obstacle to dealing with climate change is? Simple: time. It will take decades before the carbon dioxide we emit now begins to have its full effect on the planet’s climate. And by the same token, it will take decades before we are able to enjoy the positive climate effects of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions now. (Even if we could stop emitting all CO? today, there’s already future warming that’s been baked into the system, thanks to past emission.)

That is the lead of Bryan Walsh‘s excellent Time article called “Why We Don’t Care About Saving Our Grandchildren From Climate Change.” It covers much of the ground we covered in SuperFreakonomics but probably does a better job in laying out the inherent conflicts of climate change — long-term problem vs. short-term incentives — without enraging people.

The Economic Behavior of 12 Year-Olds

Do children behave like adults? Do they make economic decisions the same way we do?
That’s what German economist Martin Kocher has set out to determine. He’s collecting data to measure the utility curves of kids from 7-18 years old, in order to draw some conclusions about children’s attitudes toward risk, time and trust. Playing simple economic games, such as the ultimatum game and various public good games, he measured their risk and time preferences. The experiments were conducted with real money, because “incentivizing kids with money makes it a real decision for them” says Kocher.