Magali Delmas (UCLA IoES)

"Saving Power to Conserve Your Reputation? The Effectiveness of Private vs Public information"


Friday, May 13, 2011
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
@ The UCLA Anderson School

Cornell Hall, Room D-313



While research suggests that information policies have the potential to reduce environmental pollution by allowing customers or investors to choose products or prefer companies with a smaller environmental footprint, we still have little understanding about the conditions under which people respond to information about environmental performance and act on it. In this research, we test the effect of intrinsic motivations, social norms and reputation as potential motivators in the context of energy conservation behavior. We implement a field experiment where we provide consumers with private and public information about their energy usage. Private information in the form of real time feedback helps consumers understand their energy usage and lowers the cost of conservation. Public information in the form of energy display posters about consumers’ individual energy usage allowed consumers to experience reputation benefits from conspicuous conservation. The results of the year-long experiment in the residence halls at the University of California Los Angeles, show that reputational concerns effectively motivated heavy electricity users to reduce consumption by 15 percent. Public information in conjunction with private information was more effective than private information alone to motivate conservation behavior.

Link to paper: Paper not available

For more information on this talk, or other Policy Area seminars, please visit:

UCLA Anderson School of Management  |  110 Westwood Plaza, D513 |  Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481