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The Role of Behavioural Economics in Energy and Climate Policy

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  • Pollitt, M. G.
  • Shaorshadze, I.

Abstract

This article explores how behavioural economics can be applied to energy and climate policy. We present an overview of main concepts of behavioural economics and discuss how they differ from the assumptions of neoclassical economics. Next, we discuss how behavioural economics applies to three areas of energy policy: (1) consumption and habits, (2) investment in energy efficiency, and (3) provision of public goods and support for pro-environmental behaviour. We conclude that behavioural economics seems unlikely to provide the magic bullet to reduce energy consumption by the magnitude required by the International Energy Agency's “450” climate policy scenario. However it offers new suggestions as to where to start looking for potentially sustainable changes in energy consumption. We believe that the most useful role within climate policy is in addressing issues of public perception of the affordability of climate policy and in facilitating the creation of a more responsive energy demand, better capable of responding to weather-induced changes in renewable electricity supply.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 1165.

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Date of creation: 21 Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1165

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Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

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  1. Rose, Steven K. & Clark, Jeremy & Poe, Gregory L. & Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D., 1999. "The Private Provision of Public Goods: Tests of a Provision Point Mechanism for Funding Green Power Programs," Working Papers 127699, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  2. Matthew J. Kotchen & Michael R. Moore, 2004. "Private Provision of Environmental Public Goods: Household Participation in Green-Electricity Programs," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-07, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  3. Jaffe, Adam B. & Stavins, Robert N., 1994. "The energy paradox and the diffusion of conservation technology," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 91-122, May.
  4. Bruno S. Frey & Reto Jegen, 2000. "Motivation Crowding Theory: A Survey of Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 245, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Thaler, Richard, 1980. "Toward a positive theory of consumer choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 39-60, March.
  6. Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
  7. Felder, Frank A., 2010. "The Practical Equity Implications of Advanced Metering Infrastructure," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 56-64, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Di Cosmo, Valeria & Lyons, Sean & Nolan, Anne, 2012. "Estimating the impact of time-of-use pricing on Irish electricity demand," MPRA Paper 39971, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Ma, Guo & Andrews-Speed, Philip & Zhang, Jiandong, 2013. "Chinese consumer attitudes towards energy saving: The case of household electrical appliances in Chongqing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 591-602.
  3. Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI), Berlin (ed.), 2013. "Research, innovation and technological performance in Germany - EFI Report 2013," Research, innovation and technological performance in Germany: Report, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI), volume 127, number 2013e, November.
  4. Martinangeli, Andrea & Zoli, Mariangela, 2013. "Exploring Environmentally Significant Behaviors in a Multidimensional Perspective," Working Papers in Economics 561, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

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