Using Nonpecuniary Strategies to Influence Behavior: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment
Policymakers are increasingly using norm-based messages to influence individual decision making. We partner with a metropolitan water utility to implement a natural field experiment to examine the effect of such messages on residential water demand. The data, drawn from more than 100,000 households, indicate that social comparison messages had a greater influence on behavior than simple prosocial messages or technical information alone. Moreover, our data suggest that social comparison messages are most effective among households identified as the least price sensitive: high users. Yet the effectiveness of such messages wanes over time. Our results thus highlight important complementarities between pecuniary and nonpecuniary strategies. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/|
|Order Information:||Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00346535|
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.:
- Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004.
Artefactual Field Experiments
00058, The Field Experiments Website.
- 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.
- 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, 06.
- Martin, Richard & Randal, John, 2008. "How is donation behaviour affected by the donations of others?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 228-238, July.
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
- Olmstead, Sheila M. & Michael Hanemann, W. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007.
"Water demand under alternative price structures,"
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management,
Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 181-198, September.
- Uri Gneezy & John A. List, 2006.
"Putting Behavioral Economics to Work: Testing for Gift Exchange in Labor Markets Using Field Experiments,"
NBER Working Papers
12063, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Uri Gneezy & John A List, 2006. "Putting Behavioral Economics to Work: Testing for Gift Exchange in Labor Markets Using Field Experiments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1365-1384, 09.
- John List & Uri Gneezy, 2006. "Putting behavioral economics to work: Testing for gift exchange in labor markets using field experiments," Natural Field Experiments 00259, The Field Experiments Website.
- Hutton, R Bruce, et al, 1986. " Effects of Cost-Related Feedback on Consumer Knowledge and Consumption Behavior: A Field Experimental Approach," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 327-36, December.
- Jen Shang & Rachel Croson, 2008.
"The impact of downward social information on contribution decisions,"
Natural Field Experiments
00322, The Field Experiments Website.
- Rachel Croson & Jen Shang, 2008. "The impact of downward social information on contribution decisions," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 221-233, September.
- Ian Ayres & Sophie Raseman & Alice Shih, 2009. "Evidence from Two Large Field Experiments that Peer Comparison Feedback Can Reduce Residential Energy Usage," NBER Working Papers 15386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Erin T. Mansur & Sheila M. Olmstead, 2007.
"The Value of Scarce Water: Measuring the Inefficiency of Municipal Regulations,"
NBER Working Papers
13513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mansur, Erin T. & Olmstead, Sheila M., 2012. "The value of scarce water: Measuring the inefficiency of municipal regulations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 332-346.
- Todd Sandler & Daniel G. Arce M., 2003. "Pure Public Goods versus Commons: Benefit-Cost Duality," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(3), pages 355-368.
- Noah J. Goldstein & Robert B. Cialdini & Vladas Griskevicius, 2008. "A Room with a Viewpoint: Using Social Norms to Motivate Environmental Conservation in Hotels," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(3), pages 472-482, 03.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:1:p:64-73. 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: (Kristin Waites)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.