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Nudging and Subsidizing Farmers to Foster Smart Water Meter Adoption

Benjamin Ouvrard (), Raphaële Préget (), Arnaud Reynaud () and Laetitia Tuffery ()
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Benjamin Ouvrard: TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement
Raphaële Préget: CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - UMR 5211 - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement
Arnaud Reynaud: TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement

CEE-M Working Papers from CEE-M, Universtiy of Montpellier, CNRS, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro

Abstract: In a global context of increasing water scarcity, reducing water use in the agricultural sector is one of the spearheads of sustainable agricultural and environmental policies. New technologies such as smart water meters are promising tools for addressing this issue, but their voluntary adoption by farmers has been limited. Conducting a discrete choice experiment with randomized treatments, we test two policy instruments designed to foster the voluntary adoption of smart water meters: a conditional subsidy and green nudges. The conditional subsidy is offered to farmers who adopt a smart meter only if the rate of adoption in their geographic area is sufficiently high (25%, 50% or 75%). In addition, we implement informational nudges by providing farmers specific messages regarding water scarcity and water management. With the responses of 1,272 French farmers, we show that both policy instruments are effective tools for fostering smart water meter adoption. Surprisingly, our results show that the willingness to pay for the conditional subsidy does not depend on the collective adoption threshold. We also demonstrate that farmers who receive an informational nudge are more likely to opt for a smart water meter. This result calls for a careful joint design of these two policy instruments..

Keywords: Behavioural economics; Choice experiment; Nudges; French farmers; Smart water meters; Social norms. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-10-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-dcm, nep-env, nep-exp and nep-reg
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02958784
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