The Behaviouralist as Policy Designer: The Need to Test Multiple Treatments to Meet Multiple Targets
Robert Hahn, Robert D. Metcalfe, David Novgorodsky, Michael K. Price
A large scale natural field experiment was conducted investigating the effect of different messages on water resource management. Only social norms messages reduce water consumption whereas only loss framing led to a significant increase in the purchase of drought resistant plants. Only when social norms and loss framing are combined do rebate requests increase significantly. These results highlight the importance of testing different combinations of instruments, particularly when policymakers have multiple goals and the relationship between instruments and goals is uncertain.