May 26, 2020

The information value of energy labels: Evidence from the Dutch residential housing market

Do energy labels contain extra information that buyers cannot observe themselves? Which labeling scheme is more effective: a voluntary or a mandatory one? In this paper we examine the information value of voluntary and mandatory energy labels using administrative data on all transactions in the Dutch residential housing market.

Employing a combination of hedonic price models, matching and a sharp Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD), we show that voluntary labels introduced in the period 2008-2014 contain limited information value. The information value of mandatory labels that are adopted since 2015 is less clear-cut. We observe that better-labeled dwellings were transacted with significant price premiums before obtaining labels. This implies that at least part of the premiums cannot be attributed to mandatory labels.

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