Curbside Collection and Participation in Household Waste Recycling: A Causal Analysis

22 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2015

See all articles by Henning Best

Henning Best

University of Kaiserslautern

Thorsten Kneip

MEA, Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy

Date Written: October 3, 2014

Abstract

This paper estimates the causal effect of reducing behavioral costs of participation in household waste recycling. We use panel data collected in three city districts in Cologne, Germany (n=1567), in one of which a curbside scheme replaced the traditional bring scheme between observations. Using propensity score matching and triple-differences-estimation we are able to identify the causal effect of curbside collection, its variation between types of recyclables, and its elasticity with regard to the distance to collection containers in the bring scheme condition. We find that a curbside scheme is most effective for plastics, metal cans and packaging but less so for paper. Furthermore, the effect of implementing a curbside scheme is stronger when the initial distance to a collection container has been greater. The results of our causal analysis therefore have important implications for effective and cost-efficient implementation of environmental protection policies.

Keywords: environmental behavior, environmental policy, recycling, natural experiment, propensity score matching, differences in differences, causal analysis

JEL Classification: C01, C93, Q53

Suggested Citation

Best, Henning and Kneip, Thorsten, Curbside Collection and Participation in Household Waste Recycling: A Causal Analysis (October 3, 2014). Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy Discussion Paper No. 15-2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2572984 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2572984

Henning Best (Contact Author)

University of Kaiserslautern ( email )

Paul-Ehrlich-Straße 14
Kaiserslautern, D-67663
Germany

Thorsten Kneip

MEA, Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy ( email )

Amalienstraße 33
München, 80799
Germany
+49 89 38602 303 (Phone)
+49 89 38602 390 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.mea.mpisoc.mpg.de/

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