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Do not incentivize eco-friendly behavior - Go for a competition to go green!

Author

Listed:
  • Christoph Bühren

    (University of Kassel)

  • Maria Daskalakis

    (University of Kassel)

Abstract

Which behavior-based interventions are more appropriate to induce energy saving: energy saving goals with or without incentive, energy saving products, environmentally related information, social comparison or competition? We try to answer this question in a comprehensive study. First, we designed energy bills with different behavioral interventions. Second, we evaluated their appropriateness in an empirical survey with 457 participants. Third, we tested behavioral consequences in real effort lab experiments with 550 subjects in 11 treatments and one baseline. Our results indicate that monetary incentives to save energy might foster the intention to invest effort in energy saving but backfire if factual performance is required. Instead, fostering non-incentivized self-set goals and providing social comparison induced substantial effort to protect the environment. Non-incentivized competition to save energy provided the best results. Our study concludes with implications for practical policy design and further need of research.

Suggested Citation

  • Christoph Bühren & Maria Daskalakis, 2015. "Do not incentivize eco-friendly behavior - Go for a competition to go green!," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201534, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201534
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    File URL: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/paper_2015/34-2015_buehren.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Schubert, Christian, 2017. "Green nudges: Do they work? Are they ethical?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 329-342.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental behavior; Goals; Incentives; Social Comparison; Competition; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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