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Residential water conservation during drought: Experimental evidence from three behavioral interventions

Katrina Jessoe, Gabriel E. Lade, Frank Loge and Edward Spang

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2021, vol. 110, issue C

Abstract: This paper deploys a framed field experiment and uses high-frequency data to evaluate the short- and long-run effects of three behavioral interventions on residential water use during extreme drought. Our study of the effects of Home Water Reports (HWRs) on hourly water use yields three main results. First, even when layered on top of a 25% drought conservation mandate, HWRs led to conservation effects of 4 to 5%. Second, across three variants of HWRs, the profile of water conservation is similar, suggesting that households did not respond to the messaging or recommendations contained in the HWRs. Third, the water conservation effect of all interventions dissipated five months after the intervention ended. In our setting, these behavioral interventions align with utility incentives to achieve immediate but temporary water conservation in response to drought.

Keywords: Social norms; Water use; Long-run effects; Randomized controlled trial; High-frequency data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2021.102519

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Journal of Environmental Economics and Management is currently edited by M.A. Cole, A. Lange, D.J. Phaneuf, D. Popp, M.J. Roberts, M.D. Smith, C. Timmins, Q. Weninger and A.J. Yates

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