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MAGKS Joint Discussion Paper Series in Economics No. 28-2014
Philipps-University Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Marburg
This paper examines the extent and the determinants of individual global climate change be-liefs. In contrast to former studies, it is focused on China due to its crucial role in global cli-mate policy and its responsibility as the worldwide biggest producer of CO2 emissions. The empirical analysis is based on unique data from a survey among more than 1000 individuals from five cities in China, namely Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan, and Shenyang. In line with previous studies in other countries, our results suggest that the vast majority of al-most 90% of the Chinese respondents believe in the existence of global climate change, which seems to be a convenient basis for ambitious climate policy in China. Our econometric analy-sis reveals that the personal experience with extreme weather events (and particularly heat-waves) alone is already sufficient to increase global climate change beliefs, although conse-quential personal physical or financial damages lead to stronger effects. A rising number of extreme weather events and consequential personal damages in the future might thus further decrease climate change skepticism. Our estimation results additionally reveal that females as well as people in medium ages, with higher household incomes, a lower education, and from Chengdu or Shenyang are more skeptical with respect to global climate change.
Global climate change
beliefs and skepticism
extreme weather events
micro-econometric analysis
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Working Paper

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