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Direct and spillover effects of a social information campaign on residential water-savings

Journal article
Authors M. M. Jaime Torres
Fredrik Carlsson
Published in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
Volume 92
Pages 222-243
ISSN 0095-0696
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economics
Pages 222-243
Language en
Keywords Peer effects, Randomized evaluation, Social norms, Water utilities, Housing, Social aspects, Water supply, Field experiment, Social information, Social norm, Spillover effects, Water - savings, Water utility, Economic and social effects
Subject categories Economics


This paper investigates direct and spillover effects of a social information campaign aimed at encouraging residential water savings in Colombia. The campaign was organized as a randomized field experiment, consisting of monthly delivery of consumption reports, including normative messages, for one year. Results indicate that social information and appeals to norm-based behavior reduce water use by up to 6.8% in households directly targeted by the campaign. In addition, we find evidence of spillover effects: households that were not targeted by the campaign reduced water use by 5.8% in the first six months following the intervention. © 2018 Elsevier Inc.

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