Energy Conservation "Nudges" and Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence from a Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment

28 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2010 Last revised: 4 Jul 2013

See all articles by Dora L. Costa

Dora L. Costa

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2010

Abstract

“Nudges” are being widely promoted to encourage energy conservation. We show that the popular electricity conservation “nudge” of providing feedback to households on own and peers’ home electricity usage in a home electricity report is two to four times more effective with political liberals than with conservatives. Political conservatives are more likely than liberals to opt out of receiving the home electricity report and to report disliking the report. Our results suggest that energy conservation nudges need to be targeted to be most effective.

Suggested Citation

Costa, Dora L. and Kahn, Matthew E., Energy Conservation "Nudges" and Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence from a Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment (April 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w15939. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1594573

Dora L. Costa (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 951477
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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