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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.
Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Contact details of provider:
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 Microeconomics; 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; Prices
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Martin, Richard & Randal, John, 2008. "How is donation behaviour affected by the donations of others?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 228-238, July.
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013.
"Energy Conservation “Nudges” And Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence From A Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 680-702, 06.
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2010. "Energy Conservation "Nudges" and Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence from a Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 15939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004.
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
- Hutton, R Bruce, et al, 1986. " Effects of Cost-Related Feedback on Consumer Knowledge and Consumption Behavior: A Field Experimental Approach," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 327-36, December.
- Uri Gneezy & John A List, 2006.
"Putting Behavioral Economics to Work: Testing for Gift Exchange in Labor Markets Using Field Experiments,"
Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1365-1384, 09.
- Uri Gneezy & John List, 2006. "Putting behavioral economics to work: Testing for gift exchange in labor markets using field experiments," Natural Field Experiments 00259, The Field Experiments Website.
- Uri Gneezy & John A. List, 2006. "Putting Behavioral Economics to Work: Testing for Gift Exchange in Labor Markets Using Field Experiments," NBER Working Papers 12063, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Noah J. Goldstein & Robert B. Cialdini & Vladas Griskevicius, 2008. "A Room with a Viewpoint: Using Social Norms to Motivate Environmental Conservation in Hotels," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 472-482, 03.
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
- Rachel Croson & Jen Shang, 2008.
"The impact of downward social information on contribution decisions,"
Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 221-233, September.
- Rachel Croson & Jen Shang, 2008. "The impact of downward social information on contribution decisions," Natural Field Experiments 00322, The Field Experiments Website.
- Erin T. Mansur & Sheila M. Olmstead, 2007.
"The Value of Scarce Water: Measuring the Inefficiency of Municipal Regulations,"
NBER Working Papers
13513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mansur, Erin T. & Olmstead, Sheila M., 2012. "The value of scarce water: Measuring the inefficiency of municipal regulations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 332-346.
- Mansur, Erin T. & Olmstead, Sheila M., 2006. "The Value of Scarce Water: Measuring the Inefficiency of Municipal Regulations," Working paper 228, Regulation2point0.
- Todd Sandler & Daniel G. Arce M., 2003. "Pure Public Goods versus Commons: Benefit-Cost Duality," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(3), pages 355-368.
- Sheila Olmstead & W. Michael Hanemann & Robert N. Stavins, 2007.
"Water Demand Under Alternative Price Structures,"
NBER Working Papers
13573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ian Ayres & Sophie Raseman & Alice Shih, 2009. "Evidence from Two Large Field Experiments that Peer Comparison Feedback Can Reduce Residential Energy Usage," NBER Working Papers 15386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kolm,Serge-Christophe, 2009. "Reciprocity," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521123204, December.
- Tiefenbeck, Verena & Staake, Thorsten & Roth, Kurt & Sachs, Olga, 2013. "For better or for worse? Empirical evidence of moral licensing in a behavioral energy conservation campaign," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 160-171.
- Gioia de Melo & Matías Piaggio, 2012. "The perils of peer punishment. Evidence from a common pool resource framed field experiment," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 12-16, Instituto de Economia - IECON.
- Ferraro, Paul J. & Miranda, Juan José, 2013. "Heterogeneous treatment effects and mechanisms in information-based environmental policies: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 356-379.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karie Kirkpatrick).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.