NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Paternalism and Energy Efficiency: An Overview

Hunt Allcott

NBER Working Paper No. 20363
Issued in August 2014, Revised in July 2016
NBER Program(s):   EEE   PE

This review paper provides an overview of the application of behavioral public economics to energy efficiency. I document policymakers' arguments for “paternalistic” energy efficiency policies, formalize with a simple model of misoptimizing consumers, review and critique empirical evidence, and suggest future research directions. While empirical results suggest that policies to address imperfect information and internalities may increase welfare in some cases, some existing policies may be mistargeted or miscalibrated.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20363

Published: Hunt Allcott, 2016. "Paternalism and Energy Efficiency: An Overview," Annual Review of Economics, vol 8(1).

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