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Can we nudge farmers into saving water? Evidence from a randomized experiment

Author

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  • Sylvain Chabe-Ferret

    (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées)

  • Philippe Le Coent

    (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - UM - Université de Montpellier)

  • Arnaud Reynaud

    (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées)

  • Subervie Julie

    (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - UM - Université de Montpellier)

  • Daniel Lepercq

    (CACG - Compagnie d'Aménagement des Côteaux de Gascogne)

Abstract

Improving water efficiency is a growing challenge for the Common Agricultural Policy. In this article, we test whether social comparison nudges can promote water-saving behavior among farmers. We report on a pilot Randomized Controlled Trial, in which information on individual and group water consumption were sent every week to farmers equipped with smartmeters. We do not detect an effect of nudges on average water consumption. We however find that the nudge decreases water consumption at the top of the distribution while it increases consumption at the bottom. This study highlights the potential of nudges as an agricultural policy tool.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvain Chabe-Ferret & Philippe Le Coent & Arnaud Reynaud & Subervie Julie & Daniel Lepercq, 2018. "Can we nudge farmers into saving water? Evidence from a randomized experiment," Working Papers hal-02791612, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-02791612
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02791612
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wuepper, David & Roleff, Nikolaus & Finger, Robert, 2021. "Does it matter who advises farmers? Pest management choices with public and private extension," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).
    2. Buchholz, Matthias & Peth, Denise & Mußhoff, Oliver, 2018. "Tax or green nudge? An experimental analysis of pesticide policies in Germany," DARE Discussion Papers 1813, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    3. Michał Dudek & Wioletta Wrzaszcz, 2020. "On the Way to Eco-Innovations in Agriculture: Concepts, Implementation and Effects at National and Local Level. The Case of Poland," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(12), pages 1-22, June.
    4. Villamayor-Tomas, Sergio & Sagebiel, Julian & Olschewski, Roland, 2019. "Bringing the neighbors in: A choice experiment on the influence of coordination and social norms on farmers’ willingness to accept agro-environmental schemes across Europe," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 200-215.
    5. Dimitri Dubois & Stefano Farolfi & Phu Nguyen-Van & Juliette Rouchier, 2020. "Contrasting effects of information sharing on common-pool resource extraction behavior: Experimental findings," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(10), pages 1-20, October.
    6. Benjamin Ouvrard & Raphaële Préget & Arnaud Reynaud & Laetitia Tuffery, 2020. "Nudging and Subsidizing Farmers to Foster Smart Water Meter Adoption," Working Papers hal-02958784, HAL.

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    Keywords

    government policy; irrigation water use; behavioral economics; nudges;
    All these keywords.

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