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Behavioral Insights from Field Experiments in Environmental Economics

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  • Brent, Daniel A.
  • Friesen, Lana
  • Gangadharan, Lata
  • Leibbrandt, Andreas

Abstract

Many environmental decisions are based on intrinsic motivations in addition to traditional economic incentives. Field experiments allow researchers to isolate a specific causal mechanism which can help advance our understanding of consumer and firm behavior in environmental markets. This article summarizes the literature on the use of field experiments in environmental economics, focusing on framed and artefactual field experiments as well as natural experiments targeting municipal energy and water demand. We set out a theoretical framework to improve the interpretation of results from field experiments in environmental economics. In addition to providing an overview of experimental methods and findings we also lay out a set of challenges for researchers interested in running a field experiment in environmental economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Brent, Daniel A. & Friesen, Lana & Gangadharan, Lata & Leibbrandt, Andreas, 2017. "Behavioral Insights from Field Experiments in Environmental Economics," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 10(2), pages 95-143, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:jirere:101.00000084
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    1. repec:pid:journl:v:58:y:2019:i:2:p:109-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Werner, Peter & Riedl, Arno, 2018. "The role of experiments for policy design," Research Memorandum 022, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:9:p:1627-:d:111779 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Janusch, Nicholas & Palm-Forster, Leah H. & Messer, Kent D. & Ferraro, Paul J., 2017. "Behavioral Insights for Agri-Environmental Program and Policy Design," 2018 Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) Annual Meeting, January 5-7, 2018, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 266299, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Field experiments; Environmental economics; Intrinsic incentives; Extrinsic incentives; Behavioral economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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