Do Social Norms Matter to Energy Saving Behavior? Endogenous Social and Correlated Effects

34 Pages Posted: 12 May 2014

See all articles by Toshi H. Arimura

Toshi H. Arimura

Waseda University - School of Political Science and Economics

Hajime Katayama

Waseda University - School of Commerce

Mari Sakudo

Development Bank of Japan

Date Written: May 2014

Abstract

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

Arimura, Toshihide H. and Katayama, Hajime and Sakudo, Mari, Do Social Norms Matter to Energy Saving Behavior? Endogenous Social and Correlated Effects (May 2014). Tokyo Center for Economic Research (TCER) Paper No. E-76, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2435754

Toshihide H. Arimura (Contact Author)

Waseda University - School of Political Science and Economics ( email )

1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Tokyo 169-8050
Japan

Hajime Katayama

Waseda University - School of Commerce ( email )

School of Commerce, Waseda University
1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda Shinjyuku-ku
Tokyo, Tokyo 169 - 8050
Japan

Mari Sakudo

Development Bank of Japan ( email )

9-1
Otemachi 1-chome Chiyoda-ku
Toyko, 100-0004
United States

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