NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Asymmetric Effects of Non-Pecuniary Signals on Search and Purchase Behavior for Energy-Efficient Durable Goods

J. Scott Holladay, Jacob LaRiviere, David M. Novgorodsky, Michael Price

NBER Working Paper No. 22939
Issued in December 2016
NBER Program(s):Environment and Energy Economics, Industrial Organization, Public Economics

We report the results of a field experiment where we exogenously vary the use of social comparisons "nudges" and subsidies for participation in an in-home energy audit program, and follow subjects through to the subsequent purchase of durable goods. We therefore can compare the causal effect of financial incentives and nudges along two margins, audits, which we liken to search, and purchase of durables. Using data on nearly 100,000 households, we document an asymmetry; nudges increase audits, but lead to lower rates of purchase. We find no evidence of a differential response for those offered a financial incentive. These differences suggest heterogeneity in the motives of the marginal consumer induced by nudges versus prices.

download in pdf format
   (1451 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22939

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Hahn, Metcalfe, Novgorodsky, and Price w22886 The Behavioralist as Policy Designer: The Need to Test Multiple Treatments to Meet Multiple Targets
Gillingham and Munk-Nielsen w22937 A Tale of Two Tails: Commuting and the Fuel Price Response in Driving
Levinson w22956 Energy Efficiency Standards Are More Regressive Than Energy Taxes: Theory and Evidence
Helpman w22944 Globalization and Wage Inequality
Coffey, Geruso, and Spears w22940 Sanitation, Disease Externalities, and Anemia: Evidence From Nepal
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us