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Does Better Information Lead to Better Choices? Evidence from Energy-Efficiency Labels

Listed author(s):
  • Lucas W. Davis
  • Gilbert E. Metcalf

Information provision is a key element of government energy-efficiency policy, but the information that is provided is often too coarse to allow consumers to make efficient decisions. An important example is the ubiquitous yellow “EnergyGuide” label, which is required by law to be displayed on all major appliances sold in the United States. These labels report energy cost information based on average national usage and energy prices. We conduct an online stated-choice experiment to measure the potential welfare benefits from labels tailored to each household’s state of residence. We find that state-specific labels lead to significantly better choices. Consumers choose to invest about the same amount overall in energy efficiency, but the allocation is much better with more investment in high-usage high-price states and less investment in low-usage low-price states.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/686252
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/686252
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

Volume (Year): 3 (2016)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 589-625

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jaerec:doi:10.1086/686252
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JAERE/

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  32. repec:mpr:mprres:7375 is not listed on IDEAS
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