Energy Conservation "Nudges" and Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence from a Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment
NBER Working Paper No. 15939
“Nudges” are being widely promoted to encourage energy conservation. We show that while the electricity conservation “nudge” of providing feedback to households on own and peers’ home electricity usage works with liberals, it can backfire with conservatives. Our regression estimates predict that a Democratic household that pays for electricity from renewable sources, that donates to environmental groups, and that lives in a liberal neighborhood reduces its consumption by 3 percent in response to this nudge. A Republican household that does not pay for electricity from renewable sources and that does not donate to environmental groups increases its consumption by 1 percent.
Published: Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Energy Conservation âNudgesâ And Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence From A Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 680-702, 06.
This paper was revised on December 5, 2011