Seminar: Fostering behavioral change: Stimulating in-house waste sorting in apartment buildings

On Tuesday March 26th 2019, Mirthe Boomsma (UvT) will give a presentation titled: "Fostering behavioral change: Stimulating in-house waste sorting in apartment buildings"

March 26, 2019
13:00 - 14:00
CPB-office, Bezuidenhoutseweg 30, The Hague (Room 3 - Braamzaal)
Mirthe Boomsma (UvT)
Eva van der Wal (CPB)
Working language

We experimentally test the relative effectiveness of behavioral policies aimed at improving in-house waste recycling. Improving waste sorting behaviors is challenging because recycling is a difficult a bit to acquire, and the more so the more inconvenient waste sorting is. Our experimental population consists of more than 1,000 households living in apartment buildings in the city center of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Our interventions are aimed at increasing residents' intrinsic or extrinsic motivation to sort waste. We find that interventions that draw on extrinsic incentives have an immediate and sizable effect on waste sorting behavior, but we also find that the average treatment effects attenuate steeply over time. In contrast, we find equally sizeable yet long-lasting effects of a treatment designed to increase households'  intrinsic motivation to sort waste by strengthening their attitudes towards recycling. Our results highlight the role intrinsic motivations play in guiding recurrent prosocial behavior.