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Effects of spatial proximity to proposed electric power lines on residents’ expectations, attitudes, and protest behavior: A replication study

  • Governments and energy operators are frequently confronted with opposition to the construction of new highvoltage transmission lines. In this context, a recent experiment by Mueller et al. (2017) tested the so-called proximity hypothesis and found that spatial proximity to proposed transmission line corridor route alternatives significantly affected residents' likelihood of having negative risk expectations, showing low levels of support, and engaging in protest against the planned facility. Moreover, their findings suggest that the relationship between spatial proximity and the dependent variables is appropriately modeled by a distance decay function, showing that effects attenuate with increasing distance from the infrastructure site. Unfortunately, because of the fact that the study is the only one that has tested the proximity hypothesis in the context of planning new trans-mission lines so far, the existing evidence cannot be considered as a solid knowledge base. Therefore, to strengthen the reliability of the existing evidence, the natural experiment of Mueller et al. (2017) has to be replicated, which is the purpose of the present study. The findings of the replication clearly support the results provided by Mueller and colleagues and provide further empirical evidence that strengthens the proximity hypothesis in the context of power grid expansion.

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Author:Christoph E. Müller
Parent Title (English):Energy Policy: The International Journal of the Political, Economic, Planning, Environmental and Social Aspects of Energy
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Publishing Institution:Deutsches Forschungsinstitut für öffentliche Verwaltung
Release Date:2019/09/17
Reviewed Document?:Ja
First Page:341
Last Page:346
Licence (German):License LogoUrhG – es gilt deutsches Urheberrecht