NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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J. Scott Holladay

515 Stokely Management Center
The University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Tennessee

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2016Asymmetric Effects of Non-Pecuniary Signals on Search and Purchase Behavior for Energy-Efficient Durable Goods
with Jacob LaRiviere, David M. Novgorodsky, Michael Price: w22939
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.
November 2014The Perverse Impact of Calling for Energy Conservation
with Michael K. Price, Marianne Wanamaker: w20706
In periods of high energy demand, utilities frequently issue "emergency" appeals for conservation over peak hours to reduce brownout risk. We estimate the impact of such appeals using high-frequency data on actual and forecasted electricity generation, pollutant emission measures, and real-time prices. Our results suggest a perverse impact; while there is no significant reduction in grid stress over superpeak hours, such calls lead to increased off -peak generation, CO2 emissions, and price volatility. We postulate that consumer attempts at load shifting lead to this result.

Published: Holladay, J. Scott & Price, Michael K. & Wanamaker, Marianne, 2015. "The perverse impact of calling for energy conservation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 1-18. citation courtesy of

 
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