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Behavioral Responses of Green Builders to Discontinuous Certification Schemes


  • Atasoy, Ayse Tugba

    () (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))


I study behavioral responses to the green building certification system by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED). LEED provides four different certification levels (‘Certified’, ‘Silver’, ‘Gold’, and ‘Platinum’) that are all defined by a threshold. Using micro data on LEED-certified buildings, I document intense bunching of buildings at or slightly above the different cutoffs. This finding is robust to different specifications, observed for different versions of LEED as well as for a comparable building certification system from the UK (the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). Using the methods from the public finance literature, which studies bunching responses to ‘kinks’ and ‘notches’ in tax systems (e.g., Chetty et al., 2011; Kleven and Waseem, 2013), I quantify the bunching mass at the threshold. Using cross-sectional variation in bunching across different states of the US, I find a significant negative relationship between the bunching estimators and energy prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Atasoy, Ayse Tugba, 2016. "Behavioral Responses of Green Builders to Discontinuous Certification Schemes," FCN Working Papers 18/2016, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2016_018

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    Cited by:

    1. Schmitz, Hendrik & Madlener, Reinhard, 2017. "Direct and Indirect Energy Rebound Effects in German Households: A Linearized Almost Ideal Demand System Approach," FCN Working Papers 10/2017, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    2. Frieling, Julius & Madlener, Reinhard, 2017. "Fueling the US Economy: Energy as a Production Factor from the Great Depression until Today," FCN Working Papers 2/2017, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    3. Collins, Matthew & Curtis, John, 2018. "Bunching of residential building energy performance certificates at threshold values," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 211(C), pages 662-676.
    4. Höwer, Daniel & Oberst, Christian A. & Madlener, Reinhard, 2017. "Regionalization Heuristic to Map Spatial Heterogeneity of Macroeconomic Impacts: The Case of the Green Energy Transition in NRW," FCN Working Papers 13/2017, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised 01 Feb 2019.

    More about this item


    Labels; Green Buildings; Energy Efficiency; Notches; Bunching;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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