Free-Riding for Future: Field Experimental Evidence of Strategic Substitutability in Climate Protest

27 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2022

See all articles by Johannes Jarke-Neuert

Johannes Jarke-Neuert

University of Hamburg - Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN)

Grischa Perino

University of Hamburg

Henrike Schwickert

University of Hamburg

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 22, 2021

Abstract

We test the hypothesis that protest participation decisions in an adult population of potential climate protesters are interdependent. Subjects (n = 1,510) from the four largest German cities were recruited two weeks before protest date. We measured participation (ex post) and beliefs about the other subjects' participation (ex ante) in an online survey, used a randomized informational intervention to induce exogenous variance in beliefs, and estimated the causal effect of a change in belief on the probability of participation using a control function approach. Participation decisions are found to be strategic substitutes: a one percentage-point increase of belief causes a .67 percentage-point decrease in the probability of participation in the average subject.

Keywords: collective action, social movement, protest, environment, climate action, strategic interaction, experiment, causal mediation, instrumental variable regression

JEL Classification: C93, D71, D74, D83, Q54

Suggested Citation

Jarke-Neuert, Johannes and Perino, Grischa and Schwickert, Henrike, Free-Riding for Future: Field Experimental Evidence of Strategic Substitutability in Climate Protest (November 22, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3967231 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3967231

Johannes Jarke-Neuert (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg - Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN) ( email )

Bundesstrasse 53
Hamburg, Hamburg 20146
Germany

Grischa Perino

University of Hamburg ( email )

Welckerstr. 8
Hamburg, 20354
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/gperinosite/

Henrike Schwickert

University of Hamburg ( email )

Welckerstr. 8
Hamburg, 20354
Germany

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