nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2020‒05‒18
two papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. On the Effects of COVID-19 Safer-At-Home Policies on Social Distancing, Car Crashes and Pollution By Brodeur, Abel; Cook, Nikolai; Wright, Taylor
  2. Can Information about Energy Costs Affect Consumers Choices? Evidence from a Field Experiment By Nina Boogen; Claudio Daminato; Massimo Filippini; Adrian Obrist

  1. By: Brodeur, Abel (University of Ottawa); Cook, Nikolai (University of Ottawa); Wright, Taylor (University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: In response to COVID-19, dramatic safer-at-home policies were implemented. The understanding of their impacts on social distancing, travel and pollution is in its infancy. We pair a differences-in-differences framework and synthetic control methods with rich cellular tracking and high frequency air pollution data. We find that state and U.S. county safer-at-home policies are successful in encouraging social distance; beginning the day of the policy trips outside the home are sharply decreased while time in residence rises sharply. With less vehicle traffic, we find: a 50% reduction in vehicular collisions; an approximately 25% reduction in Particulate Matter (PM2.5) concentrations; and a reduction of the incidence of county-days with an air quality index of code yellow or above by two-thirds. We calculate that the benefits from avoided car collisions could range from $7 billion to $24 billion while the benefits from reduced pollution could range from $650 million to $13.8 billion.
    Keywords: COVID-19, safer-at-home, lockdowns, pollution, traffic, car crashes
    JEL: P48 Q53 Q58
    Date: 2020–05
  2. By: Nina Boogen (Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH), ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Claudio Daminato (Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH), ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Massimo Filippini (Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH), ETH Zurich, Switzerland and Universita della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland); Adrian Obrist (Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH), ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: There is an ongoing debate in the literature about whether consumers are fully informed when investing in energy effciency. We experimentally evaluate the role of imperfect informa- tion or limited attention about energy costs of home appliances and light bulbs on households' choices. Using in-home visits, we collect information on the energy effciency of home appliances and light bulbs that households own. Exploiting these unique data, the intervention provided treated households with customized information about the potential of monetary savings from the adoption of new comparable efficient durables. We find a substantial impact of our informa- tion treatment on both the energy efficiency of the newly purchased durables and the intensity of utilization of existing home appliances. Our findings suggest that individuals are not fully informed about or pay attention to energy costs when purchasing and utilizing home appliances.
    Keywords: Imperfect information, Limited attention, Consumers durable choices, Energy efficiency, Field experiment.
    JEL: C93 D12 D83 Q40
    Date: 2020–05

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