(Ineffective) Messages to Encourage Recycling: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Peru

59 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Alberto Chong

Alberto Chong

University of Ottawa

Dean S. Karlan

Yale University; Innovations for Poverty Action; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Jeremy Shapiro

Yale University

Jonathan Zinman

Dartmouth College; Innovations for Poverty Action; Jameel Poverty Action Lab; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: July 1, 2013

Abstract

There is growing interest in using messaging to drive prosocial behaviors, which contribute to investment in public goods. The authors worked with a leading nongovernmental organization in Peru to randomize nine different prorecycling messages that were crafted on the basis of best practices, prior evidence, and theories of behavioral change. Different variants emphasized information on environmental or social benefits, social comparisons, social sanctions, authority, and reminders. None of the messages had significant effects on recycling behavior. However, reducing the cost of ongoing participation by providing a recycling bin significantly increased recycling among enrolled households.

Keywords: Water and Industry, Environmental Economics & Policies, Housing & Human Habitats, Knowledge for Development, E-Business

Suggested Citation

Chong, Alberto and Karlan, Dean S. and Shapiro, Jeremy and Zinman, Jonathan, (Ineffective) Messages to Encourage Recycling: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Peru (July 1, 2013). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6548. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2303104

Alberto Chong (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa ( email )

2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K2C 1H7
Canada

Dean S. Karlan

Yale University ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States

Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )

1731 Connecticut Ave, 4th floor
New Haven, CT 20009
United States

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab ( email )

E60-246
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Jeremy Shapiro

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Jonathan Zinman

Dartmouth College ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-0075 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.dartmouth.edu/jzinman/

Innovations for Poverty Action

1731 Connecticut Ave, 4th floor
New Haven, CT 20009
United States

Jameel Poverty Action Lab

E60-246
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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