Free Riding in Climate Protest

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 13, pp. 1197-1202 (2023)

27 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2022 Last revised: 7 Dec 2023

See all articles by Johannes Jarke-Neuert

Johannes Jarke-Neuert

Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEK-STE), Forschungszentrum Jülich; University of Hamburg - Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN)

Grischa Perino

University of Hamburg

Henrike Schwickert

University of Hamburg

Date Written: November 22, 2021

Abstract

Climate protests are an important driver for ambitious climate policies.
However, it is still unknown how individual protest participation decisions
depend on each other. Exploiting the unique opportunity of the Third
Global Climate Strike, we conducted multi-wave population surveys
with 1,510 people in the four largest German cities. With a randomized
information intervention, we changed turnout expectations of a subgroup
of respondents and measured the impact on the probability to join the
local protest event. Our findings provide causal evidence for strategic
interdependence in protest participation decisions among members of the
general public rather than among a movement’s core group of supporters.
These decisions are found to be strategic substitutes: individuals who
expect many other people to participate are less likely to participate
themselves. This dynamic has important implications for the movement’s
future communication and growth perspective.

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 in Climate Protest (November 22, 2021). Nature Climate Change, Vol. 13, pp. 1197-1202 (2023), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3967231 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3967231

Johannes Jarke-Neuert (Contact Author)

Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEK-STE), Forschungszentrum Jülich ( email )

Jülich, D-52425
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.fz-juelich.de/en/iek/iek-ste

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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