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Money to Burn? Risk Attitudes and Private Investment to Mitigate Wildfire Risk
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This thesis uses a unique data set collected from Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) communities in Nevada, made available through a previous project conducted at the University of Nevada, Reno, to evaluate the extent homeowners’ fire-safe investment decisions are driven by their financial value at risk, wealth, risk preferences, and costs of investments versus their subjective beliefs about wildfire. We impute missing data using Multiple Imputation by Chained Equations (MICE) and use a probit model to analyze the homeowners’ underlying motivations in their decision to make private fire-safe investments. We find that subjective beliefs drive the decision to make individual fire-safe investments, but is outweighed by concerns about loss of privacy and age of the home when considering defensible space compliance. Future work should focus on how these subjective beliefs are formed and whether they lead to individually efficient fire-safe investments.