Knowledge is (Less) Power: Experimental Evidence from Residential Energy Use
This paper presents experimental evidence that information feedback dramatically increases the price elasticity of demand in a setting where signals about quantity consumed are traditionally coarse and infrequent. In a randomized controlled trial, residential electricity customers are exposed to price increases, with some households also receiving displays that transmit high-frequency information about usage and prices. This substantially lowers information acquisition costs and allows us to identify the marginal information effect. Households only experiencing price increases reduce demand by 0 to 7 percent whereas those also exposed to information feedback exhibit a usage reduction of 8 to 22 percent, depending on the amount of advance notice. The differential response across treatments is significant and robust to the awareness of price changes. Conservation extends beyond the treatment window, providing evidence of habit formation, spillovers, and greenhouse gas abatement. Results suggest that information about the quantity consumed facilitates learning, which likely drives the treatment differential.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Katrina Jessoe & David Rapson, 2014. "Knowledge Is (Less) Power: Experimental Evidence from Residential Energy Use," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1417-38, April.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Severin Borenstein & Stephen P. Holland, 2003.
"On the Efficiency of Competitive Electricity Markets With Time-Invariant Retail Prices,"
NBER Working Papers
9922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Severin Borenstein & Stephen Holland, 2005. "On the Efficiency of Competitive Electricity Markets with Time-Invariant Retail Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 469-493, Autumn.
- Severin Borenstein, 2005. "The Long-Run Efficiency of Real-Time Electricity Pricing," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 93-116.
- Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Rethinking real-time electricity pricing," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 820-842.
- Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1082-1095.
- Jacobsen, Grant D. & Kotchen, Matthew J. & Vandenbergh, Michael P., 2012.
"The behavioral response to voluntary provision of an environmental public good: Evidence from residential electricity demand,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 946-960.
- Grant D. Jacobsen & Matthew J. Kotchen & Michael P. Vandenbergh, 2010. "The Behavioral Response to Voluntary Provision of an Environmental Public Good: Evidence from Residential Electricity Demand," NBER Working Papers 16608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1082-1095, October.
- Lei Feng & Mark Seasholes, 2005. "Do Investor Sophistication and Trading Experience Eliminate Behavioral Biases in Financial Markets?," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 305-351, 09.
- Severin Borenstein, 2002. "The Trouble With Electricity Markets: Understanding California's Restructuring Disaster," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 191-211, Winter.
- Looney, Adam & Kroft, Kory & Chetty, Raj, 2009.
"Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence,"
9748525, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2007. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and taxation: theory and evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Ahmad Faruqui & Sanem Sergici, 2010. "Household response to dynamic pricing of electricity: a survey of 15 experiments," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 193-225, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18344. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.