Behavioral insights from field experiments in environmental economics

Daniel A. Brent, Lana Friesen, Lata Gangadharan, Andreas Leibbrandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Many environmental decisions are based on intrinsic motivations in addition to traditional economic incentives. Field experiments allow researchers to isolate a specific causal mechanism which can help advance our understanding of consumer and firm behavior in environmental markets. This article summarizes the literature on the use of field experiments in environmental economics, focusing on framed and artefactual field experiments as well as natural experiments targeting municipal energy and water demand. We set out a theoretical framework to improve the interpretation of results from field experiments in environmental economics. In addition to providing an overview of experimental methods and findings we also lay out a set of challenges for researchers interested in running a field experiment in environmental economics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-143
Number of pages49
JournalInternational Review of Environmental and Resource Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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