Climate Change Framing and Innovator Attention: Evidence from an Email Field Experiment

32 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2021 Last revised: 2 Sep 2022

See all articles by Jorge Guzman

Jorge Guzman

Columbia University - Columbia Business School; NBER

Jean Joohyun Oh

Columbia University - Columbia Business School

Ananya Sen

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Date Written: November 24, 2020

Abstract


Drawing the attention of innovators to climate change is important for green innovation. We report an email field experiment with MIT using messages about the impact of climate change to invite innovators (SBIR grantees) to apply to a technology competition. We vary our messages on the time-frame and scale of the human cost of climate change across scientifically valid scenarios. Innovator attention (clicks) is sensitive to climate change messaging. These changes in clicks also predict higher application rates. The response varies by individual characteristics such as location-based exposure to climate change risks and whether innovators have climate-related innovations. Finally, using a structural model of innovator attention, we provide estimates of the implied discount rate of time and the elasticity of attention to lives at stake.

Keywords: innovation, motivation, attention, climate change, field experiment

Suggested Citation

Guzman, Jorge and Oh, Jean Joohyun and Sen, Ananya, Climate Change Framing and Innovator Attention: Evidence from an Email Field Experiment (November 24, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3737105 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3737105

Jorge Guzman

Columbia University - Columbia Business School ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jean Joohyun Oh

Columbia University - Columbia Business School ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Ananya Sen (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

4800 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh 15213-3890
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
82
Abstract Views
542
rank
415,298
PlumX Metrics