EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Using social norms to reduce paper waste: Results from a field experiment in the Indian Information Technology sector

Sujoy Chakravarty and Rajan Mishra

Ecological Economics, 2019, vol. 164, issue C, -

Abstract: We analyse the results from a longitudinal natural field experiment that provides an environmental nudge by reinforcing positive environmental norms. Posters asking individuals to use less paper are pasted on printers (Times) and in office cubicles (Umendall) of two information technology firms around New Delhi, India. A third firm (India Mart) does not get the nudge and serves as our control. During the nudge period, employees of the firms that get the conservation message on average expend a significantly lower number of sheets per day as compared to the pre-nudge period, measured both in terms of paper used and paper wasted. Furthermore, after the nudge is removed, the per capita paper wastage for one of the firms that received it (Times) does not increase significantly over the next month and a half, whereas for the other firm (Umendall) it does but remains significantly lower than the per capita wastage in the pre-nudge period. In terms of total paper used, the nudged firms show a reduction in the number of sheets used several weeks after the nudge is removed. For the control firm, the wastage and usage of printer paper does not change significantly over the duration of the experiment. A robustness check with no nudge intervention done by computing per capita wastage and usage for the same dates exactly one year later does not show a reduction over the same time period and offers support for our conclusions.

Keywords: Paper Conservation; Sustainable Behavior; Environmental Nudge; Social Norms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800918310978
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:164:y:2019:i:c:2

Access Statistics for this article

Ecological Economics is currently edited by C. J. Cleveland

More articles in Ecological Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

 
Page updated 2019-11-24
Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:164:y:2019:i:c:2