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Promoting Rule Compliance in Daily-Life: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in the Public Libraries of Barcelona

Author

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  • Jose Apesteguia
  • Patricia Funk
  • Nagore Iriberri

Abstract

We study how to promote compliance with rules in every day situations. Having access to unique data on the universe of users of all public libraries in Barcelona, we test the effect of sending email messages with different contents. We find that users return their items earlier if asked to do so in a simple email. Emails reminding users of the penalties associated with late returns are more effective than emails with just a generic reminder. We find differential treatment effects by user types. The characteristics we analyze are previous compliance, gender, age, and nationality.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Apesteguia & Patricia Funk & Nagore Iriberri, 2010. "Promoting Rule Compliance in Daily-Life: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in the Public Libraries of Barcelona," Working Papers 492, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:492
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kast, Felipe & Meier, Stephan & Pomeranz, Dina, 2018. "Saving more in groups: Field experimental evidence from Chile," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 275-294.
    2. Tasoff, Joshua & Letzler, Robert, 2014. "Everyone believes in redemption: Nudges and overoptimism in costly task completion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 107-122.
    3. Vollaard, Ben, 2017. "Temporal displacement of environmental crime: Evidence from marine oil pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 168-180.
    4. Altmann, Steffen & Falk, Armin & Jäger, Simon & Zimmermann, Florian, 2018. "Learning about job search: A field experiment with job seekers in Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 33-49.
    5. Dal Bó, Ernesto & Dal Bó, Pedro, 2014. "“Do the right thing:” The effects of moral suasion on cooperation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 28-38.
    6. Bittschi, Benjamin & Dwenger, Nadja & Rincke, Johannes, 2021. "Water the flowers you want to grow? Evidence on private recognition and donor loyalty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    7. Linardi, Sera & Tanaka, Tomomi, 2013. "Competition as a savings incentive: A field experiment at a homeless shelter," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 240-251.
    8. Muller, Paul & Habla, Wolfgang, 2018. "Experimental and non-experimental evidence on limited attention and present bias at the gym," Working Papers in Economics 743, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    9. Altmann, Steffen & Traxler, Christian, 2014. "Nudges at the dentist," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 19-38.
    10. Dur, Robert & Vollaard, Ben, 2019. "Salience of law enforcement: A field experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 208-220.
    11. Vollaard, Ben, 2017. "Temporal displacement of environmental crime: Evidence from marine oil pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 168-180.
    12. Huizingh, Eelko & Mulder, Machiel, 2014. "Effectiveness of regulatory interventions on firm behavior," Research Report 14011-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    13. Ninghua Du & Lingfang Li & Tian Lu & Xianghua Lu, 2020. "Prosocial Compliance in P2P Lending: A Natural Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(1), pages 315-333, January.
    14. Giacomo Calzolari & Mattia Nardotto, 2017. "Effective Reminders," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(9), pages 2915-2932, September.
    15. Hailey Hayeon Joo & Jungmin Lee & Sangkon Park, 2018. "Every Drop Counts: A Water Conservation Experiment With Hotel Guests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(3), pages 1788-1808, July.
    16. Kast, Felipe & Meier, Stephan & Pomeranz, Dina, 2012. "Under-Savers Anonymous: Evidence on Self-Help Groups and Peer Pressure as a Savings Commitment Device," IZA Discussion Papers 6311, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Schlüter, Achim & Vollan, Björn, 2015. "Flowers and an honour box: Evidence on framing effects," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 186-199.
    18. Björn Bos & Moritz A. Drupp & Jasper N. Meya & Martin F. Quaas, 2020. "Moral Suasion and the Private Provision of Public Goods: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 76(4), pages 1117-1138, August.
    19. repec:dgr:rugsom:14011-eef is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Konow, James, 2019. "Can ethics instruction make economics students more pro-social?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 724-734.
    21. repec:pit:wpaper:484 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Shaun Larcom & Luca A. Panzone & Timothy Swanson, 2017. "Follow-the-leader? Measuring the internalisation of law," CIES Research Paper series 50-2017, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
    23. Feldhaus, Christoph & Sobotta, Tassilo & Werner, Peter, 2018. "Reminders for voluntary payments might backfire—Evidence from a field study," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 133-136.
    24. Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2014. "Nudging credit scores in the field: the effect of text reminders on creditworthiness in the United States," Working Papers 15-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    25. Miguel A. Costa‐Gomes & Yuan Ju & Jiawen Li, 2019. "Role‐Reversal Consistency: An Experimental Study Of The Golden Rule," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(1), pages 685-704, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rule Compliance; Pro-Social Behavior; Field Experiment; Public Libraries;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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