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Using Field Experiments to Address Environmental Externalities and Resource Scarcity: Major Lessons Learned and New Directions for Future Research

Michael Price

NBER Working Paper No. 20870
Issued in January 2015
NBER Program(s):Environment and Energy Economics

This article provides an overview of the use of field experiments in energy and resource economics. I concentrate on two areas of study; field experiments that (i) speak to the use of dynamic pricing plans to manage the use of electricity and water and (ii) explore the adoption of energy saving technologies. Viewed in its totality, this work suggests that both neo-classical factors such as prices or search costs and behavioral constructs such as salience or social norms influence the use of energy and water. For academics, the studies reviewed provide a deeper understanding of individual behavior and the factors that drive the private provision of public goods. For policy makers, the studies reviewed provide a blueprint outlining ways to combine insights from neo-classical and behavioral economics to manage energy/water demand and mitigate externalities generated through their use.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20870

Published: M. K. Price, 2014. "Using field experiments to address environmental externalities and resource scarcity: major lessons learned and new directions for future research," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, vol 30(4), pages 621-638. citation courtesy of

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