nep-nud New Economics Papers
on Nudge and Boosting
Issue of 2023‒08‒28
five papers chosen by
Marco Novarese, Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Order Effects in Eliciting Preferences By Kopsacheilis, Orestis; Goerg, Sebastian J.
  2. Methods for Improving Participation Rates in National Self-Administered Web/Mail Surveys: Evidence from the United States By West, Brady; Zhang, Shiyu; Wagner, James; Gatward, Rebecca; Saw, Htay-Wah; Axinn, William G.
  3. The Heterogeneous Effects of Social Cues on Day Time and Night Time Electricity Usage, and Appliance Purchase: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Armenia By Yermone Sargsyan; Salim Turdaliev; Silvester van Koten
  4. Editorial: The sustainability series: the plastics problem - investigating socio-economic dimensions of plastic pollution By Takuro Uehara; Mateo Cordier; Juan Baztan; Bethany Jorgensen
  5. Building Compliance, Manufacturing Nudges: The Complicated Trade-offs of Advertising Professionals Facing the GDPR By Thomas Beauvisage; Kevin Mellet

  1. By: Kopsacheilis, Orestis (Technical University of Munich); Goerg, Sebastian J. (Technische Universität München)
    Abstract: Having an accurate account of preferences help governments design better policies for their citizens, organizations develop more efficient incentive schemes for their employees and adjust their product to better suit their clients' needs. The plethora of elicitation methods most commonly used can be broadly distinguished between methods that rely on people self-assessing and directly stating their preferences (qualitative) and methods that are indirectly inferring such preferences through choices in some task (quantitative). Alarmingly, the two approaches produce systematically different conclusions about preferences and, therefore, survey designers often include both quantitative and qualitative items. An important methodological question that is hitherto unaddressed is whether the order in which quantitative and qualitative items are encountered affects elicited preferences. We conduct three, pre-registered, studies with a total of 3, 000 participants, where we elicit preferences about risk, time-discounting and altruism in variations of two conditions: 'Quantitative First' and 'Qualitative First'. We find significant and systematic order effects. Eliciting preferences through qualitative items first boosts inferred patience and altruism while using quantitative items first increases the cross-method correlation for risk and time preferences. We explore how monetary incentivization and introducing financial context modulates these results and discuss the implications of our findings in the context of nudging interventions as well as our understanding of the nature of preferences.
    Keywords: preferences, qualitative vs. quantitative measures, risk, altruism, patience
    JEL: C83 C91 D01 D91
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: West, Brady; Zhang, Shiyu; Wagner, James; Gatward, Rebecca; Saw, Htay-Wah; Axinn, William G.
    Abstract: In the United States, increasing access to the internet, the increasing costs of large-scale face-to-face data collections, and the general reluctance of the public to participate in intrusive in-person data collections all mean that new approaches to nationally representative surveys are urgently needed. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for faster, higher-quality alternatives to face-to-face data collection. These trends place a high priority on the evaluation of innovative web-based data collection methods that are convenient for the U.S. public and yield scientific information of high quality. The web mode is particularly appealing because it is relatively inexpensive, it is logistically flexible to implement, and it affords a high level of privacy and confidentiality when correctly implemented. With this study, we aimed to conduct a methodological evaluation of a sequential mixed-mode web/mail data collection protocol, including modular survey design concepts, which was implemented on a national probability sample in the U.S. in 2020-2021. We implemented randomized experiments to test theoretically-informed hypotheses that 1) the use of mail and increased incentives to follow up with households that did not respond to an invitation to complete a household screening questionnaire online would help to recruit different types of households; and 2) the use of modular survey design, which involves splitting a lengthy self-administered survey up into multiple parts that can be completed at a respondent’s convenience, would improve survey completion rates. We find support for the use of mail and increased incentives to follow up with households that have not responded to a web-based screening questionnaire. We did not find support for the use of modular design in this context. Simple descriptive analyses also suggest that attempted telephone reminders may be helpful for the main survey.
    Date: 2023–07–15
  3. By: Yermone Sargsyan (Charles University, Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic); Salim Turdaliev (Charles University, Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic); Silvester van Koten (UJEP, Faculty of Social and Economic Studies, Usti nad Labem & CERGE-EI Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: This study investigates the effectiveness of "nudges" through monthly peer comparison reports on household energy consumption in Yerevan, Armenia. We collected data from 300 households for a total of 8 months. While monthly peer comparison reports show no significant effect on energy consumption, we find strong and statistically significant heterogeneous treatment effects. Specifically, we find that households utilizing electricity as their primary heating source, households where the respondent is an educated female, and households with respondents aged 56 and above experienced a decrease in electricity usage as a result of the peer comparison reports. Moreover, we discover that high electricity consumers reduce their consumption significantly after receiving the reports. However, we also observe a small "boomerang" effect, whereby households in the lower quartile of electricity consumption slightly increase their usage in response to the reports. Furthermore, we find that the bulk of the reduction in electricity consumption comes from daytime consumption when the marginal cost of electricity is higher. Additionally, we explore the heterogeneous treatment effects of nudges on the investment in the physical stock of appliances.
    Keywords: demand side management, nudges, household energy consumption, peer comparison, developing country, heterogeneous treatment effects, electrical appliances
    JEL: Q4 Q53 Q48 Q58 C93
    Date: 2023–07
  4. By: Takuro Uehara; Mateo Cordier (UVSQ - Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines); Juan Baztan (UVSQ - Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines); Bethany Jorgensen
    Abstract: There is agreed scientific evidence that the plastic problem must be solved. Cumulative production of plastic since the inception of mass production after the second world war is estimated to be 9544 million metric tons (Mt), produced between 1950 and 2019, and more than 7000 Mt of plastic waste has been generated over that period. Primarily because of river discharge and mismanaged waste, plastic waste enters the ocean, leading to marine plastic pollution, one of the problems with plastic taking most attention. There have been growing publications on model simulations studying the way plastic pollution could change in the long run under different scenarios. While there are variations in their approaches and results, all these publications conclude that plastic waste will increase in the next decades if no changes are made to the current trend. They also all conclude that an unprecedented and significant effort is required to reduce the amount of plastic waste accumulation. It requires system change, transforming the global plastic economy, or combining solutions. Furthermore, technological solutions will not be enough to solve the plastics problem, and it is urgent to act on non-technological solutions, among them by changing people's behavior in waste management and waste prevention. The four articles in this Research Topic highlight the importance of socio-economic dimensions of plastic pollution from various perspectives.
    Keywords: Uehara T Cordier M Baztan J and Jorgensen B ( ) Editorial: The sustainability series: the plastics problem -investigating socio-economic dimensions of plastic pollution. Front. Sustain. : . doi: . /frsus. socio-economic dimensions plastic pollution citizen science intervention behavioral change nudge information intervention material flow analysis, Uehara T, Cordier M, Baztan J and Jorgensen B ( ) Editorial: The sustainability series: the plastics problem -investigating socio-economic dimensions of plastic pollution. Front. Sustain. : . doi: . /frsus. socio-economic dimensions, plastic pollution, citizen science, intervention, behavioral change, nudge, information intervention, material flow analysis
    Date: 2023–05–23
  5. By: Thomas Beauvisage (Orange Labs); Kevin Mellet (CSO - Centre de sociologie des organisations (Sciences Po, CNRS) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This chapter examines nudges from a producer perspective. Our study of GDPR compliance by online advertising professionals shows that the design of consent collection interfaces is the point of crystallization of technical, economic, legal and moral issues. We can thus in certain configurations consider nudges as "impossible designs" seeking to integrate contradictory objectives and moralities, rather than the only result of self-interested calculations and intended actions. In Spring of 2018, new dialog boxes popped up all over the web, asking European Web users, in various formats and terms, for permission to collect their personal data (mainly in the form of cookies, hence their labelling as 'cookie banners'). These interfaces offer choices: that of accepting or refusing cookies, or that of managing personal data collection and usage. But most of these interfaces are designed to secure
    Keywords: Nudge, consent, GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation, Compliance, Online advertising
    Date: 2023

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