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Do The Effects of Social Nudges Persist? Theory and Evidence from 38 Natural Field Experiments

Alec Brandon, Paul Ferraro (), John List (), Robert Metcalfe (), Michael Price () and Florian Rundhammer ()

No 2017-04, Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series from Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

Abstract: This study examines the mechanisms underlying long-run reductions in energy consumption caused by a widely studied social nudge. Our investigation considers two channels: physical capital in the home and habit formation in the household. Using data from 38 natural field experiments, we isolate the role of physical capital by comparing treatment and control homes after the original household moves, which ends treatment. We find 35 to 55 percent of the reductions persist once treatment ends and show this is consonant with the physical capital channel. Methodologically, our findings have important implications for the design and assessment of behavioral interventions.

Keywords: energy efficiency; field experiments; nudges; persistence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D01 D03 Q30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-ene and nep-exp
Date: 2017-05
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Working Paper: Do the effects of social nudges persist? Theory and evidence from 38 natural field experiments (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Do The Effects of Social Nudges Persist? Theory and Evidence from 38 Natural Field Experiments (2017) Downloads
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