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Using Non-Pecuniary Strategies to Influence Behavior: Evidence from a Large Scale Field Experiment

Paul Ferraro () and Michael Price ()

No 17189, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Policymakers are increasingly using norm-based messages to influence individual decision-making. We partner with a metropolitan water utility to implement a natural field experiment examining the effect of such messages on residential water demand. The data, drawn from more than 100,000 households, indicate that social comparison messages had a greater influence on behavior than simple pro-social messages or technical information alone. Moreover, our data suggest social comparison messages are most effective among households identified as the least price sensitive: high-users. Yet the effectiveness of such messages wanes over time. Our results thus highlight important complementarities between pecuniary and non-pecuniary strategies.

JEL-codes: C93 D03 Q2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-07
Note: EEE PE
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed

Published as Paul J. Ferraro & Michael K. Price, 2013. "Using Nonpecuniary Strategies to Influence Behavior: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 64-73, March.

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