IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/20466.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Conservation Policies: Who Responds to Price and Who Responds to Prescription?

Author

Listed:
  • Casey J. Wichman
  • Laura O. Taylor
  • Roger H. von Haefen

Abstract

The efficiency properties of price and non-price instruments for conservation in environmental policy are well understood. Yet, there is little evidence comparing the effectiveness of these instruments, especially when considering water resource management. We exploit a rich panel of residential water consumption to examine heterogeneous responses to both price and non-price conservation policies during times of drought while controlling for unobservable household characteristics. Our empirical models suggest that the burden of pricing policies fall disproportionately on low-income households and fail to reduce consumption among households who generally are large consumers of water. However, prescriptive policies such as restrictions on outdoor water use result in uniform responses across income classes while simultaneously targeting reductions from households with irrigation systems or historically high consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Casey J. Wichman & Laura O. Taylor & Roger H. von Haefen, 2014. "Conservation Policies: Who Responds to Price and Who Responds to Prescription?," NBER Working Papers 20466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20466
    Note: EEE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w20466.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kleibergen, Frank & Paap, Richard, 2006. "Generalized reduced rank tests using the singular value decomposition," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 97-126, July.
    2. Jasper M. Dalhuisen & Raymond J. G. M. Florax & JHenri L. F. de Groot & Peter Nijkamp, 2003. "Price and Income Elasticities of Residential Water Demand: A Meta-Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 292-308.
    3. Harding, Matthew & Lamarche, Carlos, 2009. "A quantile regression approach for estimating panel data models using instrumental variables," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 133-135, September.
    4. H. Allen Klaiber & V. Kerry Smith & Michael Kaminsky & Aaron Strong, 2014. "Measuring Price Elasticities for Residential Water Demand with Limited Information," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 90(1), pages 100-113.
    5. Andrea Szabó, 2015. "The Value of Free Water: Analyzing South Africa's Free Basic Water Policy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83(5), pages 1913-1961, September.
    6. Lori S. Bennear & Jonathan M. Lee & Laura O. Taylor, 2013. "Municipal Rebate Programs for Environmental Retrofits: An Evaluation of Additionality and Cost‐Effectiveness," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(2), pages 350-372, March.
    7. Wichman, Casey J., 2014. "Perceived price in residential water demand: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 308-323.
    8. Olmstead, Sheila M., 2009. "Reduced-Form Versus Structural Models of Water Demand Under Nonlinear Prices," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 84-94.
    9. Wichman, Casey J., 2017. "Information provision and consumer behavior: A natural experiment in billing frequency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 13-33.
    10. Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1082-1095, October.
    11. Mansur, Erin T. & Olmstead, Sheila M., 2012. "The value of scarce water: Measuring the inefficiency of municipal regulations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 332-346.
    12. Mary E. Renwick & Sandra O. Archibald, 1998. "Demand Side Management Policies for Residential Water Use: Who Bears the Conservation Burden?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(3), pages 343-359.
    13. Kenneth A. Baerenklau & Kurt A. Schwabe & Ariel Dinar, 2014. "The Residential Water Demand Effect of Increasing Block Rate Water Budgets," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 90(4), pages 683-699.
    14. Michael L. Nieswiadomy & David J. Molina, 1989. "Comparing Residential Water Demand Estimates under Decreasing and Increasing Block Rates Using Household Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(3), pages 280-289.
    15. Koichiro Ito, 2014. "Do Consumers Respond to Marginal or Average Price? Evidence from Nonlinear Electricity Pricing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 537-563, February.
    16. Paul J. Ferraro & Michael K. Price, 2013. "Using Nonpecuniary Strategies to Influence Behavior: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 64-73, March.
    17. Olmstead, Sheila M. & Michael Hanemann, W. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Water demand under alternative price structures," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 181-198, September.
    18. Nataraj, Shanthi & Hanemann, W. Michael, 2011. "Does marginal price matter? A regression discontinuity approach to estimating water demand," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 198-212, March.
    19. Greg Halich & Kurt Stephenson, 2009. "Effectiveness of Residential Water-Use Restrictions under Varying Levels of Municipal Effort," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(4), pages 614-626.
    20. Gary Solon & Steven J. Haider & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2015. "What Are We Weighting For?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 301-316.
    21. Anna Alberini, Will Gans, and Charles Towe, 2016. "Free Riding, Upsizing, and Energy Efficiency Incentives in Maryland Homes," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    22. Shin, Jeong-Shik, 1985. "Perception of Price When Price Information Is Costly: Evidence from Residential Electricity Demand," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 591-598, November.
    23. Paul J. Ferraro & Juan José Miranda, 2017. "Panel Data Designs and Estimators as Substitutes for Randomized Controlled Trials in the Evaluation of Public Programs," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 281-317.
    24. Daniel A. Brent & Joseph H. Cook & Skylar Olsen, 2015. "Social Comparisons, Household Water Use, and Participation in Utility Conservation Programs: Evidence from Three Randomized Trials," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 597-627.
    25. Krinsky, Itzhak & Robb, A Leslie, 1986. "On Approximating the Statistical Properties of Elasticities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 715-719, November.
    26. Renwick, Mary E. & Green, Richard D., 2000. "Do Residential Water Demand Side Management Policies Measure Up? An Analysis of Eight California Water Agencies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 37-55, July.
    27. Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1082-1095.
    28. Castledine, A. & Moeltner, K. & Price, M.K. & Stoddard, S., 2014. "Free to choose: Promoting conservation by relaxing outdoor watering restrictions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 324-343.
    29. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-475, June.
    30. Lester D. Taylor, 1975. "The Demand for Electricity: A Survey," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(1), pages 74-110, Spring.
    31. Kenneth A. Baerenklau & Kurt A. Schwabe & Ariel Dinar, 2014. "The Residential Water Demand Effect of Increasing Block Rate Water Budgets," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 90(4), pages 683-699.
    32. Paul J. Ferraro & Juan Jose Miranda & Michael K. Price, 2011. "The Persistence of Treatment Effects with Norm-Based Policy Instruments: Evidence from a Randomized Environmental Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 318-322, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Wichman, Casey J., 2014. "Perceived price in residential water demand: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 308-323.
    2. Wichman, Casey J., 2017. "Information provision and consumer behavior: A natural experiment in billing frequency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 13-33.
    3. J. Scott Holladay & Jacob LaRiviere & David M. Novgorodsky & Michael Price, 2016. "Asymmetric Effects of Non-Pecuniary Signals on Search and Purchase Behavior for Energy-Efficient Durable Goods," NBER Working Papers 22939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Wichman, Casey J. & Ferraro, Paul J., 2017. "A cautionary tale on using panel data estimators to measure program impacts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 82-90.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20466. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.