Heterogeneous Responses to Social Norms for Water Conservation
Utilizing social norms is gaining momentum as a cost-effective mechanism to promote sustainable behavior. We analyze household water data from multiple pilot programs for a company that provides information campaigns containing social comparisons of water use and personalized conservation recommendations in order to reduce household water consumption. We find significant treatment effect heterogeneity across the distribution of consumption and environmental attitudes. In the two pilots with a full year of data one utility achieves savings of 6.5%; while the other in aggregate achieved limited conservation gains. Heterogeneity based on the distribution of consumption is more important in the utility with significant savings, with the highest users saving the most water. In contrast ideology appears to be more important in the utility with an insignificant average treatment effect with dis-savings for those with very low environmental preferences and strong savings for the most environmentally-conscious. Inter-regional ideology may play an critical role since the utility with significant savings is in a much "greener" community, whereas intra-utility ideology is influential in conservative areas. We caution interpretation of the results, particularly for Utility B, as the data are still incomplete.
|Date of creation:||May 2013|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202|
Phone: (414) 918-3190
Fax: (414) 276-3349
Web page: http://www.aaea.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- 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.
- 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.
- R. Quentin Grafton & Michael B. Ward, 2008. "Prices versus Rationing: Marshallian Surplus and Mandatory Water Restrictions," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages 57-65, 09.
- Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
- Ferraro, Paul J. & Miranda, Juan José, 2013. "Heterogeneous treatment effects and mechanisms in information-based environmental policies: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 356-379.
- Paul J. Ferraro & Juan Jose Miranda & Michael K. Price, 2011. "The Persistence of Treatment Effects with Norm-Based Policy Instruments: Evidence from a Randomized Environmental Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 318-322, May.
- Shlomo Benartzi & Richard Thaler, 2007. "Heuristics and Biases in Retirement Savings Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 81-104, Summer.
- Jasper M. Dalhuisen & Raymond J. G. M. Florax & JHenri L. F. de Groot & Peter Nijkamp, 2003. "Price and Income Elasticities of Residential Water Demand: A Meta-Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 292-308.
- Lori S. Bennear & Jonathan M. Lee & Laura O. Taylor, 2013. "Municipal Rebate Programs for Environmental Retrofits: An Evaluation of Additionality and Cost‐Effectiveness," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(2), pages 350-372, 03.
- Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
- Andrew C. Worthington & Mark Hoffman, 2008. "An Empirical Survey Of Residential Water Demand Modelling," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 842-871, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:149697. 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: (AgEcon Search)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.