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Tell Me Something I Don’t Already Know:Informedness and External Validity in Information Programs

David Byrne (), Andrea La Nauze () and Leslie Martin ()

No 1180, Department of Economics - Working Papers Series from The University of Melbourne

Abstract: Information programs that leverage peer comparisons are used to encourage pro-social behavior in many contexts. We document how imperfect information generates heterogenous responses to treatments involving personalized feedback and peer comparisons. In our field experiment in retail electricity, we find that most households either overestimate or underestimate their relative energy consumption pre-treatment. Households that overestimated respond to new information by temporarily increasing electricity consumption, whereas households that underestimated take steps that lead to long term energy conservation. We explore the implications of these results for the external validity and design of information programs.

JEL-codes: C93 D12 D84 L94 Q41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 47 pages
Date: 2014
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cta, nep-ene and nep-exp
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (11) Track citations by RSS feed

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