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Communicating resourcefully: a natural field experiment on environmental framing and cognitive dissonance in going paperless

Gosnell, Greer (2018) Communicating resourcefully: a natural field experiment on environmental framing and cognitive dissonance in going paperless. Ecological Economics, 154. pp. 128-144. ISSN 0921-8009

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.07.020

Abstract

In a large-scale natural field experiment comprising 38,654 customers of a renewable energy supplier in the United Kingdom, we randomize environmental information and dissonance-inducing messaging to promote an active switch from paper to online billing. We find that environmental information and imagery is ineffective in inducing behavior change. Interestingly, the dissonance-inducing messaging weakly improves uptake by 1.2 percentage points among our main sample but backfires among a subsample of individuals with doctoral educations, decreasing uptake by 6.2 percentage points relative to a control group. Contrary to the majority of the literature on gender and environmental behavior, females in our sample are less likely to switch to paperless billing.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/ecological-e...
Additional Information: © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D12 - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
L - Industrial Organization > L2 - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior > L21 - Business Objectives of the Firm
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q2 - Renewable Resources and Conservation > Q29 - Other
Sets: Research centres and groups > Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2018 10:19
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2019 00:15
Projects: ES/K006576/1
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/89815

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