Preference heterogeneity and the effectiveness of behavior change interventions

Date: 
26 January 2018 -
1:00pm to 2:00pm
Venue: 
School of Economics Seminar Room (4th Floor)
Contact Person: 
Thembisa Nyamakazi

Preference heterogeneity can influence behavior in economically significant ways, with important implications for policy outcomes. We test this hypothesis in the context of household energy use in India by characterizing household tastes for various features of a more efficient cooking technology. We then relate these typically unobserved preferences to households’ adoption decisions during a campaign that allowed them to choose between two alternatives with different features. Preferences are clearly linked to adoption: households initially classified as uninterested are less likely to purchase and use any new technology, while relative distaste for pollution is linked to selection of the cleaner alternative. Through its influence on adoption, preference heterogeneity can influence the effectiveness of policies or interventions designed to promote behavior change.

Light lunch will be served at 12:30 in the Staff Lounge – Level 4