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Competition and norms: A self-defeating combination?

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Listed:
  • Alberts, Genevieve
  • Gurguc, Zeynep
  • Koutroumpis, Pantelis
  • Martin, Ralf
  • Muûls, Mirabelle
  • Napp, Tamaryn

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of information feedback mechanisms on electricity and heating usage at a student hall of residence in London. In a randomised control trial, we formulate different treatments such as feedback information and norms, as well as prize competition among subjects. We show that information and norms lead to a sharp – more than 20% - reduction in overall energy consumption. Because participants do not pay for their energy consumption this response cannot be driven by cost saving incentives. Interestingly, when combining feedback and norms with a prize competition for achieving low energy consumption, the reduction effect – while present initially – disappears in the long run. This could suggest that external rewards reduce and even destroy intrinsic motivation to change behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberts, Genevieve & Gurguc, Zeynep & Koutroumpis, Pantelis & Martin, Ralf & Muûls, Mirabelle & Napp, Tamaryn, 2016. "Competition and norms: A self-defeating combination?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 504-523.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:96:y:2016:i:c:p:504-523
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.06.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Damien BROUSSOLLE, 2017. "Quel Systeme Incitatif Realiste Pour La Politique De Reduction Des Dechets Menagers ? Enseignements Tires De La Litterature Economique Et Du Cas Français / What Workable Incentive Scheme For The Reduc," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2017-11, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    2. Roth, Lucas & Lowitzsch, Jens & Yildiz, Özgür & Hashani, Alban, 2016. "The impact of (co-) ownership of renewable energy production facilities on demand flexibility," MPRA Paper 73562, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:eee:ecolec:v:148:y:2018:i:c:p:178-210 is not listed on IDEAS

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