Nudges of School Children and Electricity Conservation: Evidence from the 'Project Carbon Zero' Campaign in Singapore

37 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2014 Last revised: 18 Oct 2016

Sumit Agarwal

National University of Singapore

Satyanarain Rengarajan

National University of Singapore

Tien Foo Sing

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Real Estate

Yang Yang

The Chinese University of Hong Kong - CUHK Business School

Date Written: September 29, 2016

Abstract

Can children effectively nudge their parents to change their energy consumption behavior? This study sets up a quasi-experiment using the “Project Carbon Zero” campaign, an energy-saving contest in Singapore, to empirically test the effectiveness of school children nudges in bringing electricity conservation messages home and influencing behaviors of their families and neighbors. Based on the 2 kilometers (km) home-school distance as an identification, our results show that families living within 2 km from participating schools (treatment group) used 1.8% less electricity at the block level than other families outside the 2 km school zone (control group) during the contest period. The electricity savings effects are persistent with an estimated marginal savings 1.6% in the post-campaign months. The results imply that policy makers and advocates for energy conservation could use school children nudges in public campaigns, instead of pecuniary interventions, to drive home behavioral changes in electricity conservation of families.

Keywords: Energy conservation; Behavioral Intervention; Peer effects; Income Effect; Selective intervention

JEL Classification: D1, D4, R2, R3

Suggested Citation

Agarwal, Sumit and Rengarajan, Satyanarain and Sing, Tien Foo and Yang, Yang, Nudges of School Children and Electricity Conservation: Evidence from the 'Project Carbon Zero' Campaign in Singapore (September 29, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2529183 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2529183

Sumit Agarwal

National University of Singapore ( email )

15 Kent Ridge Drive
Singapore, 117592
Singapore
8118 9025 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ushakrisna.com

Satyanarain Rengarajan

National University of Singapore ( email )

4 Architecture Drive
Singapore 117566
Singapore

Tien Foo Sing (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Real Estate ( email )

4 Architecture Drive
Singapore 117566
Singapore

Yang Yang

The Chinese University of Hong Kong - CUHK Business School ( email )

7/F, Cheng Yu Tung Building
12 Chak Cheung Street, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

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