The Persistence of Treatment Effects with Norm-Based Policy Instruments: Evidence from a Randomized Environmental Policy Experiment
Paul J. Ferraro
Juan Jose Miranda
Michael K. Price
American Economic Review
no. 3, May 2011
Policymakers increasingly use norm-based messages to promote conservation efforts. Despite the apparent success of such strategies, empirical analyses have thus far focused exclusively on short-run effects. From a policy perspective, however, whether and how such strategies influence behavior in the long-run is of equal interest. We partner with a metropolitan water utility to implement a natural field experiment examining the effect of such messages on longer-run patterns of water use. Empirical results are striking. While appeals to pro-social preferences affect short-run patterns of water use, only messages augmented with social comparisons have a lasting impact on water demand.
Ferraro, Paul J., Juan Jose Miranda, and Michael K. Price.
"The Persistence of Treatment Effects with Norm-Based Policy Instruments: Evidence from a Randomized Environmental Policy Experiment."
American Economic Review,
Micro-Based Behavioral Economics: Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification