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Addressing self-disconnection among prepayment energy consumers: A behavioural approach

Author

Listed:
  • Marta Rocha
  • Michelle Baddeley
  • Michael G. Pollitt

Abstract

This paper uses insights from the study of self-control in decision-making to remedy the problem of self-disconnection among energy prepayment consumers. Self-disconnection happens when consumers exhaust all available credit in their meter and are left without supply of energy. This has serious consequences for the wellbeing of consumers and may increase firms' costs. We design a mechanism composed of a commitment contract and a reminder in order to minimize the number of self—disconnectons. We empirically assess this mechanism by examining (1) the determinants of self-disconnecton and (2) the choice of different commitment contracts. we show that self-control plays a role in self-disconnection and we are able to identify in our sample, those consumers who benefit from a commitment contract. Moreover we find a demand to commitment and an opportunity to save among those consumers who need a commitment contract.

Suggested Citation

  • Marta Rocha & Michelle Baddeley & Michael G. Pollitt, 2013. "Addressing self-disconnection among prepayment energy consumers: A behavioural approach," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1353, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1353
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    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research-files/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe1353.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard Thaler, 2004. "Save more tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving," Natural Field Experiments 00337, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 121-160.
    3. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    4. Louviere,Jordan J. & Hensher,David A. & Swait,Joffre D., 2000. "Stated Choice Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521788304, April.
    5. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767, April.
    6. Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence From a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672.
    7. O'Sullivan, Kimberley C. & Howden-Chapman, Philippa L. & Fougere, Geoffrey M. & Hales, Simon & Stanley, James, 2013. "Empowered? Examining self-disconnection in a postal survey of electricity prepayment meter consumers in New Zealand," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 277-287.
    8. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pollitt, M. G., 2016. "Electricity network charging for flexibility," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1656, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Oseni, Musiliu O., 2015. "Assessing the consumers’ willingness to adopt a prepayment metering system in Nigeria," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 154-165.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Commitment contract Self control; Prepayment meter Self-disconnection; Reminder Classification-JEL 003; 012; D91;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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