Motivations and Incentives for Pro-Environmental Behaviour in Peru: A Behavioural and Experimental Economics Analysis

Fuhrmann-Riebel, Hanna (2022) Motivations and Incentives for Pro-Environmental Behaviour in Peru: A Behavioural and Experimental Economics Analysis. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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In my PhD, I make use of behavioural and experimental economics to analyse motivations and incentives for pro-environmental behaviour (PEB). By focusing on the case of Peru, I draw on a country with a rising middle class and increasing carbon emissions, generating insights for a highly relevant consumer group. The core of my thesis is based on three self-contained chapters. In Chapter 1, I investigate the role of individual preferences for PEB based on a household survey with 900 middle class households in Lima. I show that particular preferences matter for particular PEBs: social preferences matter mainly for saving-energy behaviour; time, risk and ambiguity preferences matter for the consumption of plastics; and time and ambiguity preferences for expenditures on electricity. In Chapter 2 and 3, I conduct two field experiments with 1,709 and 1,392 households, respectively, in the context of a municipal recycling programme in Lima. In Chapter 2, I shed light on the role of social norms and individual beliefs about social norms for people’s decision to sign up to the recycling programme. I show that randomly correcting negatively biased beliefs about dynamic and injunctive norms in the recycling behaviour of others causally raises people’s willingness to sign up as well. I further underline the effectiveness of dynamic norms to motivate sustainable behaviour even in situations where unsustainable norms prevail. In Chapter 3, I test whether sms reminders can increase the recycling activity of enrolled households in the recycling programme, contrasting the effect of continuous vs. interrupted vs. restarted reminders. I show that sms reminders are generally effective to encourage recycling behaviour, and that sending reminders continuously is most effective over time, which suggests that limited attention on the recycling day itself is a main obstacle. The findings of my PhD are of great relevance for scientific debates in the respective fields, as well as for policy makers that aim to encourage sustainable behaviour.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2023 10:22
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2023 10:22


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