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Can nudges affect students' green behaviour? A field experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Ajla Cosic

    (Institute of Management – Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies)

  • Hana Cosic

    () (Institute of Economics – Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies
    BETA, University of Strasbourg)

  • Sebastian Ille

    (New College of the Humanities)

Abstract

Ecological behaviour is impeded both by financial and behavioural hurdles. A growing literature in behavioural economics and psychology suggests the use of non-price intervention nudges over other monetary incentives. We analyse whether nudges are indeed efficient in promoting recycling of resources among young people, and whether the combination of different types of nudges serve as better instruments. The study was performed on primary data from a field experiment conducted among university students in Pisa over a 60-day span. We collected data on 1849 instances of plastic cup recycling at a coffee vending machine at the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa. Recycling behaviour was measured by the number of plastic cups disposed in the proper dustbin, observed at the end of each day. Results of the experimental treatments showed a significant improvement in the amount of recyclable cups when a combination of nudges was applied.

Suggested Citation

  • Ajla Cosic & Hana Cosic & Sebastian Ille, 2018. "Can nudges affect students' green behaviour? A field experiment," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 2(1), pages 107-111, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:beh:jbepv1:v:2:y:2018:i:1:p:107-111
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Grilli, Gianluca & Curtis, John, 2019. "Encouraging pro-environmental behaviours: a review of methods and approaches," Papers WP645, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. Ayoubi, Charles & Thurm, Boris, 2020. "Pro-environmental behavior and morality: An economic model with heterogeneous preferences," OSF Preprints w8afg, Center for Open Science.
    3. Grilli, Gianluca & Curtis, John, 2021. "Encouraging pro-environmental behaviours: A review of methods and approaches," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    green behaviour; nudge; experiment; abehavioural change; policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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