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Do Environmental Messages Work on the Poor? Experimental Evidence from Brazilian Favelas

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  • Chantal Toledo

Abstract

In developed countries, the combined use of monetary and nonmonetary incentives, such as subsidies and social norms, has been shown to encourage the adoption of energy-saving technologies and conservation behaviors. However, little is known about the effect of these approaches in developing countries, which account for most of the growth in energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions. Using a randomized experiment conducted in 17 favelas (shantytowns) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this paper investigates the interplay between three levels of monetary incentives and an environmental persuasion communication on the take-up of an energy-efficient lightbulb (a light-emitting diode or, LED). On average, the persuasive communication significantly increases LED take-up by 6 percentage points (a 13% increase). This effect is driven by a 13 percentage point (20%) increase in take-up at the middle price. Richer participants and females respond the most to the communication.

Suggested Citation

  • Chantal Toledo, 2016. "Do Environmental Messages Work on the Poor? Experimental Evidence from Brazilian Favelas," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 37-83.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jaerec:doi:10.1086/683803
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    Cited by:

    1. Cécile Bazart & Mathieu Lefebvre & Julie Rosaz, 2019. "Promoting socially desirable behaviors: experimental comparison of the procedures of persuasion and commitment," Working Papers of BETA 2019-05, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    2. Cécile Bazart & Mathieu Lefebvre & Julie Rosaz, 2019. "Promoting socially desirable behaviors: experimental comparison of the procedures of persuasion and commitment," Working Papers 1907, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    3. repec:eee:ecolec:v:154:y:2018:i:c:p:128-144 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Greer Gosnell, 2017. "Be who you ought or be who you are? Environmental framing and cognitive dissonance in going paperless," GRI Working Papers 269, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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