Do Social Norms Matter to Energy Saving Behavior? Endogenous Social and Correlated Effects
34 Pages Posted: 12 May 2014
Date Written: May 2014
Social norms have received growing attention as a potential driver for pro-environmental behavior, partly due to ample evidence based on survey data. Using data from a Japanese household survey on energy saving behavior, we estimate a structural model of social interactions that account for methodological issues inherent in survey data, namely: simultaneity, common shocks and nonrandom group selection. We find that the influence of social norms on energy saving behavior is small or insignificant, while estimates from standard methods in the literature are found to be large and highly significant. Our results suggest that evidence in previous survey based studies may reflect correlation in unobserved characteristics between members in a group, not the influence of social norms.
Keywords: Energy Savings, Social Norms, Structural Estimation
JEL Classification: Q40, Q50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation