Using Nonpecuniary Strategies to Influence Behavior: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment
AbstractPolicymakers are increasingly using norm-based messages to influence individual decision making. We partner with a metropolitan water utility to implement a natural field experiment to examine the effect of such messages on residential water demand. The data, drawn from more than 100,000 households, indicate that social comparison messages had a greater influence on behavior than simple prosocial messages or technical information alone. Moreover, our data suggest that social comparison messages are most effective among households identified as the least price sensitive: high users. Yet the effectiveness of such messages wanes over time. Our results thus highlight important complementarities between pecuniary and nonpecuniary strategies. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.
Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/
Other versions of this item:
- Paul J. Ferraro & Michael K. Price, 2011. "Using Non-Pecuniary Strategies to Influence Behavior: Evidence from a Large Scale Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 17189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
- L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
- Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply (the Commons)
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