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Can information about energy costs affect consumers’ choices? Evidence from a field experiment☆

Nina Boogen (), Claudio Daminato, Massimo Filippini and Adrian Obrist

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2022, vol. 196, issue C, 568-588

Abstract: Whether consumers are fully informed and attentive when investing in energy efficiency is still hotly debated. We experimentally evaluate the role of imperfect information about or limited attention to energy costs in the demand for energy-consuming household durables in Switzerland. Using in-home visits, we collect unique data on the characteristics of participants’ current home appliances and light bulbs. Our intervention exploits this data to provide customized information about the potential of monetary savings from adopting new, comparable, and efficient durables. We find a substantial information treatment effect on the energy efficiency of the newly purchased durables. A larger potential of monetary savings induces larger durables choices responses. These findings provide suggestive evidence that the informational content of our intervention played a significant role in determining the observed durables choices responses.

Keywords: Imperfect information; Limited attention; Consumers durable choices; Energy efficiency; Field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D12 D83 Q40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2022.02.014

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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