The Power of a Bad Example – A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal (Revision of CentER DP 2012-054, Replaced by CentER DP 2013-037)
AbstractAbstract: Field-experimental studies have shown that people litter more in more littered environments. Inspired by these findings, many cities around the world have adopted policies to quickly remove litter. While such policies may avoid that people follow the bad example of litterers, they may also invite free-riding on public cleaning services. We are the first to show that both forces are at play. We conduct a natural field experiment where, in a randomly assigned part of a residential area, the frequency of cleaning was drastically reduced during a threemonth period. We find evidence that some people start to clean up after themselves when public cleaning services are diminished. However, the tendency to litter more dominates. We also find evidence for persistency in these responses after the treatment has ended.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2013-018.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl
littering; public services; free-riding; field experiment;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
- H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
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