Competition and norms: A self-defeating combination?
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.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Faruqui, Ahmad & George, Stephen, 2005. "Quantifying Customer Response to Dynamic Pricing," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 53-63, May.
- Lutzenhiser, Loren, 1992. "A cultural model of household energy consumption," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 47-60.
- McMichael, Megan & Shipworth, David, 2013. "The value of social networks in the diffusion of energy-efficiency innovations in UK households," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 159-168.
- Biel, Anders & Thogersen, John, 2007. "Activation of social norms in social dilemmas: A review of the evidence and reflections on the implications for environmental behaviour," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 93-112, January.
- Andreas Fuster & Stephan Meier, 2010.
"Another Hidden Cost of Incentives: The Detrimental Effect on Norm Enforcement,"
INFORMS, vol. 56(1), pages 57-70, January.
- Andreas Fuster & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Another hidden cost of incentives: the detrimental effect on norm enforcement," Working Papers 09-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Identity, Morals, and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 805-855.
- Ian Ayres & Sophie Raseman & Alice Shih, 2013. "Evidence from Two Large Field Experiments that Peer Comparison Feedback Can Reduce Residential Energy Usage," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(5), pages 992-1022, October.
- Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Lawrence Goulder & Gretchen Daily & Paul Ehrlich & Geoffrey Heal & Simon Levin & Karl-Göran Mäler & Stephen Schneider & David Starrett & Brian Walker, 2004. "Are We Consuming Too Much?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 147-172, Summer.
- Buchanan, Kathryn & Russo, Riccardo & Anderson, Ben, 2014. "Feeding back about eco-feedback: How do consumers use and respond to energy monitors?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 138-146.
- J. Daniel Khazzoom, 1980. "Economic Implications of Mandated Efficiency in Standards for Household Appliances," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 21-40.
- Read, Daniel, 2004. "Utility theory from Jeremy Bentham to Daniel Kahneman," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 22750, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Buchanan, Kathryn & Russo, Riccardo & Anderson, Ben, 2015. "The question of energy reduction: The problem(s) with feedback," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 89-96.
- Faruqui, Ahmad & Sergici, Sanem & Sharif, Ahmed, 2010. "The impact of informational feedback on energy consumption—A survey of the experimental evidence," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 1598-1608.
- Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
- Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," Working Paper Series rwp04-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Frederiks, Elisha R. & Stenner, Karen & Hobman, Elizabeth V., 2015. "Household energy use: Applying behavioural economics to understand consumer decision-making and behaviour," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1385-1394.
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Energy Conservation “Nudges” And Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence From A Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 680-702, June.
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2010. "Energy Conservation "Nudges" and Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence from a Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 15939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Breukers, S.C. & Heiskanen, E. & Brohmann, B. & Mourik, R.M. & Feenstra, C.F.J., 2011. "Connecting research to practice to improve energy demand-side management (DSM)," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 2176-2185.
- George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
- Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1082-1095, October.
- Hunt Allcott & Todd Rogers, 2014. "The Short-Run and Long-Run Effects of Behavioral Interventions: Experimental Evidence from Energy Conservation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3003-3037, October.
- Fred D. Davis & Richard P. Bagozzi & Paul R. Warshaw, 1989. "User Acceptance of Computer Technology: A Comparison of Two Theoretical Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(8), pages 982-1003, August.
- Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1082-1095.
- Lopes, M.A.R. & Antunes, C.H. & Martins, N., 2012. "Energy behaviours as promoters of energy efficiency: A 21st century review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 4095-4104.
- Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status in Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188.
- Okuno-Fujiwara Masahiro & Postlewaite Andrew, 1995. "Social Norms and Random Matching Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 79-109, April.
- Hargreaves, Tom & Nye, Michael & Burgess, Jacquelin, 2013. "Keeping energy visible? Exploring how householders interact with feedback from smart energy monitors in the longer term," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 126-134.
- Hori, Shiro & Kondo, Kayoko & Nogata, Daisuke & Ben, Han, 2013. "The determinants of household energy-saving behavior: Survey and comparison in five major Asian cities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 354-362.
- Kempton, Willett & Layne, Linda L., 1994. "The consumer's energy analysis environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 857-866, October.
- Harty D. Saunders, 1992. "The Khazzoom-Brookes Postulate and Neoclassical Growth," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 131-148.
- Bernadette Szajna, 1996. "Empirical Evaluation of the Revised Technology Acceptance Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(1), pages 85-92, January. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:96:y:2016:i:c:p:504-523. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.