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Self-Selection Bias in the Evaluation of Voluntary Energy Conservation Programs

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  • Hartman, Raymond S

Abstract

While voluntary energy conservation programs have been extensively promoted by electric utilities and public utility commissions, their effectiveness has been insufficiently critiqued. This paper contributes to the growing evaluation of such programs by measuring the net energy savings directly attributable to an actual set of programs. The analysis explicitly "corrects" for the "self-selection bias" that can arise in program evaluation. The correction is found to be important; traditional evaluation methods are subject to considerable bias. Correcting for this bias, the amount of program-induced energy savings is found to be considerably less than traditionally believed. Copyright 1988 by MIT Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Hartman, Raymond S, 1988. "Self-Selection Bias in the Evaluation of Voluntary Energy Conservation Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 448-458, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:70:y:1988:i:3:p:448-58
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    Cited by:

    1. Olsthoorn, Mark & Schleich, Joachim & Gassmann, Xavier & Faure, Corinne, 2017. "Free riding and rebates for residential energy efficiency upgrades: A multi-country contingent valuation experiment," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S10/2017, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    2. Nicholas Rivers and Leslie Shiell, 2016. "Free-Riding on Energy Efficiency Subsidies: the Case of Natural Gas Furnaces in Canada," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    3. Gans, Will & Alberini, Anna & Longo, Alberto, 2013. "Smart meter devices and the effect of feedback on residential electricity consumption: Evidence from a natural experiment in Northern Ireland," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 729-743.
    4. Hoicka, Christina E. & Parker, Paul & Andrey, Jean, 2014. "Residential energy efficiency retrofits: How program design affects participation and outcomes," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 594-607.
    5. Boomhower, Judson & Davis, Lucas W., 2014. "A credible approach for measuring inframarginal participation in energy efficiency programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 67-79.
    6. Paul J. Burke, 2016. "Undermined by Adverse Selection: Australia's Direct Action Abatement Subsidies," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 35(3), pages 216-229, September.
    7. Alberini, Anna & Towe, Charles, 2015. "Information v. energy efficiency incentives: Evidence from residential electricity consumption in Maryland," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(S1), pages 30-40.
    8. Shanti Gamper-Rabindran & Stephen Finger, 2013. "Does industry self-regulation reduce pollution? Responsible Care in the chemical industry," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 1-30, January.
    9. van Benthem, Arthur & Kerr, Suzi, 2013. "Scale and transfers in international emissions offset programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 31-46.
    10. Anna Alberini, Will Gans, and Charles Towe, 2016. "Free Riding, Upsizing, and Energy Efficiency Incentives in Maryland Homes," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    11. Bouhou, Nour-El Imane & Blackhurst, Michael F. & Torres, Pamela, 2015. "An empirical analysis of joint residential electricity efficiency gains within and across end uses: implications for demand-side management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 61-70.
    12. Sorrell, Steve & Dimitropoulos, John & Sommerville, Matt, 2009. "Empirical estimates of the direct rebound effect: A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1356-1371, April.
    13. Kalim Shah & Jorge Rivera, 2013. "Do industry associations influence corporate environmentalism in developing countries? Evidence from Trinidad and Tobago," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 46(1), pages 39-62, March.
    14. Aydin, Erdal, 2016. "Energy conservation in the residential sector : The role of policy and market forces," Other publications TiSEM b9cedba8-1310-4097-90fb-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    15. Frondel, Manuel & Grösche, Peter & Tauchmann, Harald & Vance, Colin & Christiansen, Gerhard & Müller, Ute, 2007. "Erhebung des Energieverbrauchs der privaten Haushalte für das Jahr 2005: Endbericht. Forschungsprojekt Nr. 15/06 des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Technologie (BMWi)," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 70877.
    16. Vidovic, Martina & Khanna, Neha, 2007. "Can voluntary pollution prevention programs fulfill their promises? Further evidence from the EPA's 33/50 Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 180-195, March.

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