Browsing by Author "Contu, Davide"
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- ItemAssessing views towards energy sources with social media data: The case of nuclear energy in the UAE(MDPI, 2021-11) Contu, Davide; Elshareif, Elgilani Eltahir; Gurrib, IkhlaasInsights from the analysis of views towards energy sources are of paramount importance for the setting of successful energy policies, especially in instances where the public might be reluctant towards certain projects’ implementations. This work presents an analysis of social media comments data given in response to posts around the connection to the grid of a nuclear plant reactor in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We assessed comments on Facebook posts of local and international media, as well those written in response to a post of a social media influencer. We extracted the main themes and performed sentiment analysis. The results indicate the presence of mixed views towards nuclear energy when focusing on comments on international media’s posts as well as on the social media influencer’s post considered, whilst they were very positive when assessing comments to local media. All in all, nuclear waste and previous nuclear accidents appear to be as the top of the mind; at the same time, solar energy is often suggested in the comments as a viable energy source for the UAE. Implications for the communication of nuclear energy developments in social media are discussed. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).
- ItemAttitudes towards climate change and energy sources in oil exporters(Elsevier Ltd, 2021-11) Contu, Davide; Kaya, Ozgur; Kaya, IlkerSwitching to energy mixes that use more non-fossil fuels is critical to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change. Climate change poses a major challenge to oil exporting Gulf countries, like the rest of the world, but research on human views on energy and climate change is limited. We aim to fill this gap by focusing on the UAE, a nation with a peculiar demographic composition that includes an overwhelming proportion of expatriates and transitions towards green and nuclear resources. We examine whether transiency of residence and life satisfaction play a role in influencing perceptions about climate change and energy sources. We also analyze how expatriates' opinions differ from UAE citizens who have significantly higher income and welfare benefits. © 2021 The Authors
- ItemComplementing choice experiment with contingent valuation data: Individual preferences and views towards IV generation nuclear energy in the UK(Elsevier Ltd, 2020-01) Contu, Davide; Mouratob, Susana
- ItemCOVID-19, Short-selling Ban and Energy Stock Prices(Asia-Pacific Applied Economics Association (APAEA), 2021) Gurrib, Ikhlaas; Kweh, Qian Long; Contu, Davide; Kamalov, FiruzWe examine the short-selling ban imposed by the National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange of Italy, the authority that regulates the Italian securities market, on three Italian energy stocks. We find that the effect of the short-selling ban was temporary.
- ItemCOVID-19, Short-selling Ban and Energy Stock Prices(Asia-Pacific Applied Economics Association, 2020) Gurrib, Ikhlaas; Kweh, Qian Long; Contu, Davide; Kamalov, FiruzWe examine the short-selling ban imposed by the National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange of Italy, the authority that regulates the Italian securities market, on three Italian energy stocks. We find that the effect of the short-selling ban was temporary. © 2020, Asia-Pacific Applied Economics Association. All rights reserved.
- ItemDo Vaccines’ Announcements Cure Stock Market Volatility? Evidence From the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Markets(Universiti Putra Malaysia, 2022) Elshareif, Elgilani; Kabir, Muhammed; Contu, Davide; Mujahed, Murad
- ItemGreater acceptability, lower compensations required? The impact of perceived net benefits on willingness to accept nuclear energy projects(Emerald Group Holdings Ltd., 2022-01) Contu, Davide; Elshareif, ElgilaniPurpose: This paper aims to estimate willingness to accept (WTA) hypothetical nuclear energy projects and the impact of net perceived benefits across three countries: Italy, a country without nuclear plants in operation; the UK, a country with nuclear plants in operation and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has more recently opted for the inclusion of nuclear energy in its energy mix. These valuations can support cost-benefit analyses by allowing policymakers to account for additional benefits and costs which would be otherwise neglected. Design/methodology/approach: Data collection was conducted through online nationwide surveys, for a total of over 4,000 individuals sampled from Italy, the UK and the UAE. The surveys included choice experiments designed to elicit preferences towards nuclear energy in the form of WTA, indicating estimated compensations for welfare worsening changes and questions to measure perceived risks and benefits. Findings: The average WTA/Km is the lowest for the case of the UAE. What is more, perceived net positive benefits tend to decrease the WTA required by the UAE respondents? Moreover, across the cases, albeit to a lesser extent with regard to Italy’s case, there is evidence that a more positive benefit perception seems to increase the valuation of environmental and public benefits offered as part of the experiment. Originality/value: The contribution of this study is primarily twofold: first, it provides a comparison of WTA values in a context where the availability of choice experiment data is scant; second, it assesses whether and to what extent perceived net positive benefits of nuclear energy impact WTA of nuclear energy projects. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.
- ItemIndividual preferences towards nuclear energy: the transient residency effect(Routledge, 2020) Contu, Davide; Mourato, Susana; Kaya, OzgurNuclear energy is an energy source that is usually unfavourable among the public due to its inherent risks. However, it presents a number of benefits, including the possibility to reduce emissions and the contribution to tackle climate change. Among the countries adopting nuclear energy, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is unusual in that a large share of its residents consists of expatriates who live only part of their lives in the country with no (or highly unlikely) access to citizenship. This distinctive population structure offers the opportunity to investigate the effect of transient residency on acceptance and preferences towards nuclear energy. We conducted this investigation by designing a stated preferences-based survey, targeting an online nationwide sample. The survey collected information on socio-economic characteristics and attitudes, including views on perceived risks and benefits of nuclear energy, views towards different energy sources and life satisfaction. Results indicate that transient individuals, especially those who are more satisfied with their lives in the UAE, are significantly less likely to oppose the construction of new nuclear plants. These individuals are characterized by a more positive perception of benefits over risks arising from nuclear energy. Policy implications are discussed. © 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- ItemPrioritising climate change actions post COVID-19 amongst university students; a Q methodology perspective in the United Arab Emirates(Inderscience Enterprises Ltd., 2022) Takshe, Aseel A.; Lovett, Jon C.; Stenner, Paul; Contu, Davide; Weber, NoeliaThe COVID-19 pandemic caused strict regulations to lower transmission rates. Industries were shut down, people were in lockdown, and travel was curtailed. Restrictions were in effect for an enough period for people's behaviour to change. For example, online meetings rather than needing to travel. This opens the possibility for alterations to the perception that it is possible to commit to effective climate change actions. A Q methodology study was conducted to analyse how 33 university environmental students across the United Arab Emirates perceive the importance of prioritising climate change actions post-pandemic. Statistical analysis yielded four discourses. The first emphasises the need to learn lessons about climate sustainability and sustain them post-pandemic. The second, more pessimistic but advocates preventing a return to pre-pandemic norms by implementing post-pandemic climate change regulations. The third expects economic recovery to take priority over reducing emissions. The fourth raises opportunities and challenges for environmental sustainability post-COVID-19. Copyright © 2022 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
- ItemTesting for saliency-led choice behavior in discrete choice modeling: An application in the context of preferences towards nuclear energy in Italy(Elsevier Ltd, 2022-09) Contu, Davide; Strazzera, ElisabettaThis work proposes a discrete choice model that jointly accounts for heterogeneity in preferences and in decision making procedures adopted by respondents, as well as for non-linearities in the utility function, allowing for the potential effect of salient attributes in choice experiments. We present an innovative application in the context of preferences towards nuclear energy, with data obtained from a nationwide online survey conducted in Italy. Results show that most of the variation in the choice data is indeed due to heterogeneity in the decision process, where the saliency heuristic plays an important role. Furthermore, the proposed model provides more conservative monetary valuations as opposed to standard models, potentially leading to substantial differences in cost-benefit analysis. Implications for choice modeling practitioners are discussed, emphasizing the need to account for saliency effects when modeling the choice data. © 2022 Elsevier Ltd
- ItemUAE University Students’ Dietary Practices and Lifestyles at times of COVID-19: A Cross Sectional Study(Enviro Research Publishers, 2022-08) Takshe, Aseel A.; El Khatib, Rami; Contu, Davide; Shehaiber, Samir Nael; Alkaabi, MohammedWe examinedthe effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on university students’ dietary practices and lifestyles. In this study, the term “dietary practices” refers to people’s choice in food consumption, whereas “lifestyles” refers to their overall habits including both diet and exercise. We followed a quantitative approach through a cross sectional study and collected data from 475 university students in the UAE by means of an online survey. The results of this study indicated that a majority (67%) of the surveyed students seem to have changed their dietary practice for the better and were making healthier life choices. Additionally, it appears that students started leading more active, healthier lifestyles by incorporating exercise in their daily routine. The research concludes with initial suggestions and implications for healthcare practitioners and providing them with information regarding how younger adults in the UAE have behaved during a pandemic. Understanding the results from similar studies will help the health authorities in reshaping policies on nutrition in anticipation of any future pandemics. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Enviro Research Publishers.
- ItemWhat is a lion worth to local people – Quantifying of the costs of living alongside a top predator(Elsevier B.V., 2022-08) Jacobsen, Kim S.; Sandorf, Erlend Dancke; Loveridge, Andrew J.; Dickman, Amy J.; Johnson, Paul J.; Mourato, Susana; Contu, Davide; Macdonald, David W.The presence of large predators entails a range of costs and some benefits for the communities that live alongside them. The cost in terms of the value of livestock lost to predation is well known, but this represents only a part of the costs that people experience, as it does not account for non-market costs such as fear, avoidance behaviours and threat to human life. We quantify the total cost of lion presence for agro-pastoral communities in Zimbabwe using economic valuation techniques. The total perceived value of one additional lion was estimated to be negative US$180 per person per year, which is several hundred times larger than the market value of the average loss of livestock per household. If making simplifying economic assumptions, this discrepancy reveals the magnitude of the non-market costs associated with the presence of large predators. The disvalue of lion presence was linked to fear, ecocentric values, wealth and trust in compensation institutions. We also demonstrate the importance of considering heterogeneity in preferences within communities; segments of the population did not have net negative value attached to lions, and some disliked monetary compensation. We also estimate the willingness-to-accept for two human-wildlife conflict mitigation programs in terms of acceptable increases in lion numbers, as opposed to monetary units which is the conventional approach in economic valuation studies. We argue that estimating value in terms of biodiversity outcomes should be used more widely. We also demonstrate the distorting effect of distrust towards compensation in choice experiments and argue that economic valuation methods employing choice experiments should control for this distrust when estimating willingness-to-pay. These discoveries have relevance for a wide range of situations where potentially dangerous wildlife species co-exist with people. © 2022 Elsevier B.V.