In this study, I estimate a causal effect of increased billing frequency on consumer behavior. I exploit a natural experiment in which residential water customers switched exogenously from bimonthly to monthly billing. Customers increase consumption by 3.5-5 percent in response to more frequent information. This result is reconciled in models of price and quantity uncertainty, where increases in billing frequency reduce the distortion in consumer perceptions. Using treatment effects as sufficient statistics, I calculate consumer welfare gains equivalent to 0.5-1 percent of annual water expenditures. Heterogeneous treatment effects suggest increases in outdoor water use.
Do Information Nudges Help Conserve Water?
In the past decade or so, there has been a strong push for using information to “nudge” consumers to conserve residential water and electricity. Th...
Press Release — Feb 18, 2020
New Episode of Resources Radio: "On the Job with Florida’s First Chief Resilience Officer, Julia Nesheiwat"
Julia Nesheiwat explains how she is approaching Florida’s complex climate challenges in her role as the state’s first-ever chief resilience officer.
Press Release — Jan 28, 2020
New Episode of Resources Radio: "Green Growth That Works: Discussing Ecosystem Services, with Lisa Mandle"
Lisa Mandle explains how novel policy instruments can be used to promote economic development without sacrificing environmental health.