NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Information Disclosure through Agents: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Hunt Allcott, Richard Sweeney

NBER Working Paper No. 20048
Issued in April 2014
NBER Program(s):   EEE

With a large nationwide retailer, we run a natural field experiment to measure the effects of energy use information disclosure, rebates, and sales agent incentives on demand for energy efficient durable goods. Sales incentives and rebates are complementary, but information and sales incentives alone have statistically and economically insignificant effects. Sales agents comply only partially with the experiment, targeting information at the most interested consumers but not discussing energy efficiency with the disinterested majority. In follow-up surveys, most consumers are aware of the energy efficient model and may even overestimate its benefits, suggesting that imperfect information is not a major barrier to adoption in this context.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20048

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