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Does the nudge effect persist? Evidence from a fi eld experiment using social comparison message in China

Chen, Haoyan and Qin, Botao (2020): Does the nudge effect persist? Evidence from a fi eld experiment using social comparison message in China.

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Abstract

We designed and carried out a field experiment in which we imposed social comparison incentives and technical recommendations on student dormitories through electricity consumption reports and energy-saving suggestions materials, respectively. Our findings are as follows: 1) Regression results on all users show that the effect of social norms is not statistically significant. 2) A social comparison message has a heterogeneous effect on consumers' energy use. Low and high energy users reduced their electricity consumption by 26% and 14%, respectively, in the first week after the treatment. 3) The effect of social norms is time sensitive.

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