IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/zewdip/16091.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The power of active choice: Field experimental evidence on repeated contribution decisions to a carbon offsetting program

Author

Listed:
  • Kesternich, Martin
  • Römer, Daniel
  • Flues, Florens

Abstract

We study the effect of a subtle change in the choice architecture on offsetting behavior. In a large-scale field experiment, we examine repeated voluntary contributions to a carbon offsetting program during the online purchase of long-distance bus tickets. In the control group, travelers had the option to offset their carbon emissions resulting from their bus trip, but they could also simply ignore the offer. In the treatment group, travelers were forced to actively choose whether to offset their carbon emissions or not. This "active choice" requirement immediately increased participation in the offsetting program by almost 50%. Investigating returning customers, we find that this treatment remains effective over time. We report evidence that some customers tend to keep avoiding active contribution decisions in subsequent booking decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Kesternich, Martin & Römer, Daniel & Flues, Florens, 2016. "The power of active choice: Field experimental evidence on repeated contribution decisions to a carbon offsetting program," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-091, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:16091
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/148649/1/87573975X.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John List & Azeem Shaikh & Yang Xu, 2016. "Multiple Hypothesis Testing in Experimental Economics," Artefactual Field Experiments 00402, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Gravert, Christina, 2018. "The hidden costs of nudging: Experimental evidence from reminders in fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 15-26.
    3. Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 1-56.
    4. Alois Stutzer & Lorenz Goette & Michael Zehnder, 2011. "Active Decisions and Prosocial Behaviour: a Field Experiment on Blood Donation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(556), pages 476-493, November.
    5. Löfgren, Åsa & Martinsson, Peter & Hennlock, Magnus & Sterner, Thomas, 2012. "Are experienced people affected by a pre-set default option—Results from a field experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 66-72.
    6. repec:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/691703 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Cass R. Sunstein & Lucia A. Reisch, 2013. "Green by Default," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 398-402, August.
    8. Hannah Trachtman & Andrew Steinkruger & Mackenzie Wood & Adam Wooster & James Andreoni & James J. Murphy & Justin M. Rao, 2014. "Fair Weather Avoidance: Unpacking Costs and Benefits in Replication of 'Avoiding the Ask'," NBER Working Papers 20385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Marc N. Conte & Matthew J. Kotchen, 2010. "Explaining The Price Of Voluntary Carbon Offsets," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(02), pages 93-111.
    10. Egebark, Johan & Ekström, Mathias, 2016. "Can indifference make the world greener?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 1-13.
    11. repec:eee:eneeco:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:144-153 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Gabriel D. Carroll & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2009. "Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1639-1674.
    13. Greene, William, 2010. "Testing hypotheses about interaction terms in nonlinear models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 291-296, May.
    14. Kesternich, Martin & Löschel, Andreas & Römer, Daniel, 2016. "The long-term impact of matching and rebate subsidies when public goods are impure: Field experimental evidence from the carbon offsetting market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 70-78.
    15. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
    16. Nikhil Dhingra & Zach Gorn & Andrew Kener & Jason Dana, 2012. "The default pull: An experimental demonstration of subtle default effects on preferences," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(1), pages 69-76, January.
    17. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    18. Matthew J. Kotchen, 2009. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods for Bads: A Theory of Environmental Offsets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 883-899, April.
    19. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
    20. Adena, Maja & Huck, Steffen, 2016. "Online fundraising, self-deception, and the long-term impact of ask avoidance," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2016-306, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    21. repec:feb:framed:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    voluntary carbon offsets; randomized field experiment; default setting; choice architecture;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation

    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:zbw:zewdip:16091. 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: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/zemande.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.