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Consumer protection legislation has been based on the assumptions that people prefer to avoid risks and that they make rational decisions given a bounded field of information. Mandated disclosure of information about environmental hazards in limited areas should therefore result in the avoidance of such areas by homebuyers or the adoption of mitigation measures subsequent to the move. The response of California homebuyers to mandated disclosure of the location of special studies zones or surface fault rupture districts was negligible, both because of the failure of the law to specify rigorous disclosure procedures and also because the law was based on the assumption that the mere provision of information will result in a predictable and rational behavioral response.


Final manuscript version of an article published in:

Palm, Risa,1981. “Public Response to Earthquake Hazard Information,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 71, pp. 389-399.