The Persistence of Treatment Effects with Norm-Based Policy Instruments: Evidence from a Randomized Environmental Policy Experiment
Policymakers increasingly use norm-based messages to promote conservation efforts. Despite the apparent success of such strategies, empirical analyses have thus far focused exclusively on short-run effects. From a policy perspective, however, whether and how such strategies influence behavior in the long-run is of equal interest. We partner with a metropolitan water utility to implement a natural field experiment examining the effect of such messages on longer-run patterns of water use. Empirical results are striking. While appeals to pro-social preferences affect short-run patterns of water use, only messages augmented with social comparisons have a lasting impact on water demand.
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Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
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- 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.
- Paul J. Ferraro & Michael K. Price, 2013.
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MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 64-73, March.
- 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.
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