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Testing for crowd out in social nudges: Evidence from a natural field experiment in the market for electricity

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Listed:
  • Alec Brandon
  • John List
  • Robert Metcalfe
  • Michael Price
  • Florian Rundhammer

Abstract

This study considers the response of household electricity consumption to social nudges during peak load events. Our investigation considers two social nudges. The first targets conservation during peak load events, while the second promotes aggregate conservation. Using data from a natural field experiment with 42,100 households, we find that both social nudges reduce peak load electricity consumption by 2 to 4% when implemented in isolation and by nearly 7% when implemented in combination. These findings suggest an important role for social nudges in the regulation of electricity markets and a limited role for crowd out effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Alec Brandon & John List & Robert Metcalfe & Michael Price & Florian Rundhammer, 2019. "Testing for crowd out in social nudges: Evidence from a natural field experiment in the market for electricity," Natural Field Experiments 00669, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00669
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    1. Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
    2. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Wenjie & Ida, Takanori & Shimada, Hideki, 2020. "Default effect versus active decision: Evidence from a field experiment in Los Alamos," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    2. Brülisauer, Marcel & Goette, Lorenz & Jiang, Zhengyi & Schmitz, Jan & Schubert, Renate, 2020. "Appliance-specific feedback and social comparisons: Evidence from a field experiment on energy conservation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    3. Ghesla, Claus & Grieder, Manuel & Schmitz, Jan & Stadelmann, Marcel, 2020. "Pro-environmental incentives and loss aversion: A field experiment on electricity saving behavior," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    4. d'Adda, Giovanna & Galliera, Arianna & Tavoni, Massimo, 2020. "Urgency and engagement: Empirical evidence from a large-scale intervention on energy use awareness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).

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