Publication: Saving Water with a Nudge (or Two): Evidence from Costa Rica on the Effectiveness and Limits of Low-Cost Behavioral Interventions on Water Use
The study uses a randomized controlled trial to test the impact of simple, inexpensive, and nonpersonalized behavioral interventions (or “nudges”) on water consumption in the context of a developing country. A descriptive social norm intervention using neighborhood comparisons reduces average water consumption in the first two postintervention months by 4.9 percent relative to the control group, while a planning postcard intervention reduces consumption by 4.8 percent. A descriptive social norm intervention using a town-level comparison also reduces water consumption by 3.2 percent, but this effect is not statistically significant. Finally, the study's one-time interventions continue to generate statistically significant reductions in water use for up to four months after they are implemented.
“Miranda, Juan Jose; Datta, Saugato; Zoratto, Laura. 2020. Saving Water with a Nudge (or Two): Evidence from Costa Rica on the Effectiveness and Limits of Low-Cost Behavioral Interventions on Water Use. World Bank Economic Review. © Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/36718 License: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO.”
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