Behavioral Economics: Underlying Principles

"The Power of Nudging: Using Feedback, Competition and Responsibility Assignment to Save Electricity in a Non-Residential Setting”

We use behavioural insights to design nudges leveraging social comparison and assignment of responsibility aimed at reducing electricity consumption in a large provincial government office building with 24 floors. Results from a randomized control trial show that floors participating in a treatment with inter-floor competitions and tips reduced energy consumption by 9%, while those that also included floor-wise ‘energy advocates” reduced energy consumption by 14% over a period of 5 months.

Income Inequality, Reciprocity and Public Good Provision: An Experimental Analysis Begging the Question: Permanent Income and Social Mobility

This paper analyses the impact of income inequality on public good provision in an experimental setting. A sample of secondary school students were recruited to participate in a simple linear public goods game where income heterogeneity was introduced by providing participants with unequal token endowments. The results show that endowment heterogeneity does not have any significant impact on contributions to the public good, and that consistent with models of reciprocity, low and high endowment players contribute the same fraction of their endowment to the public pool.

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