Department of Economics
University of Chicago
5757 S. University Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2017||Do The Effects of Social Nudges Persist? Theory and Evidence from 38 Natural Field Experiments|
with Paul J. Ferraro, John A. List, Robert D. Metcalfe, Michael K. Price, Florian Rundhammer: w23277
This study examines the mechanisms underlying long-run reductions in energy consumption caused by a widely studied social nudge. Our investigation considers two channels: physical capital in the home and habit formation in the household. Using data from 38 natural field experiments, we isolate the role of physical capital by comparing treatment and control homes after the original household moves, which ends treatment. We find 35 to 55 percent of the reductions persist once treatment ends and show this is consonant with the physical capital channel. Methodologically, our findings have important implications for the design and assessment of behavioral interventions.
|November 2014||Toward an Understanding of Reference-Dependent Labor Supply: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment|
with Steffen Andersen, Uri Gneezy, John A. List: w20695
Perhaps the most powerful form of framing arises through reference dependence, wherein choices are made recognizing the starting point or a goal. In labor economics, for example, a form of reference dependence, income targeting, has been argued to represent a serious challenge to traditional economic models. We design a field experiment linked tightly to three popular economic models of labor supply—two behavioral variants and one simple neoclassical model—to deepen our understanding of the positive implications of our major theories. Consistent with neoclassical theory and reference-dependent preferences with endogenous reference points, workers (vendors in open air markets) supply more hours when presented with an expected transitory increase in hourly wages. In contrast with the predict...