Project

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The adoption of energy innovations: Imperfect information, network infrastructure, and intertemporal preferences

Applicant Lanz Bruno
Number 173650
Funding scheme Assistant Professor (AP) Energy Grants
Research institution Institut de recherches économiques Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Economics
Start/End 01.10.2017 - 30.09.2021
Approved amount 592'386.00
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Keywords (11)

Energy economics; Behavioral economics; Information economics; Experimental economics; Environmental economics; Public economics; Policy design; Sustainability; Energy use; Technology adoption; Social change

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
L’utilisation durable de l'énergie requiert l’adoption à large échelle de nouvelles technologies. Par ce projet, j’utilise des méthodes empiriques et expérimentales dans le but de comprendre les facteurs qui favorisent l’adoption de technologies à haute efficacité énergétique. Les résultats permettront d’améliorer l’élaboration des politiques publiques visant à accélérer la transition énergétique.
Lay summary

Le projet se concentre tout d’abord sur le rôle de l’information au moment de l’adoption de technologies à haute efficacité énergétique. Pour les consommateurs, il est souvent difficile de mesurer l’impact concret des nouvelles technologies sur leur quotidien. Ce manque d’information peut donc les amener à perpétuer l’emploi des technologies plus familières. Sur la base d’expériences comportementales au cours desquelles les consommateurs n’ont initialement pas les détails des technologies, j’étudie l’impact de différentes interventions sur les choix des participants. Je m’intéresse notamment à une comparaison entre des outils de politique publique traditionnels tels que les subsides et les interventions donnant aux consommateurs l’accès à certaines informations.  

La deuxième partie du projet consiste à étudier le déploiement de technologies qui nécessitent la mise en place d’une infrastructure commune à tous les utilisateurs. Je me concentre en particulier sur l'électromobilité et vais évaluer si le déploiement de bornes de recharge publiques peut avoir un effet incitatif sur l’adoption de véhicules électriques par la population. 

Finalement, le projet s’intéresse à la manière dont les individus perçoivent les risques au cours du temps. Investir dans une nouvelle technologie comporte en effet une part de risque qui sera révélée - ou non - après la décision d’investissement. Grâce à une approche expérimentale, je cherche à estimer les conséquences de ces risques intertemporels sur les choix individuels. Les résultats permettront de créer des stratégies pour remédier à ces risques, et favoriser ainsi l’adoption de nouvelles technologies.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 23.08.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Social comparison and energy conservation in a collective action context: A field experiment
Kandul Serhiy, Lang Ghislaine, Lanz Bruno (2020), Social comparison and energy conservation in a collective action context: A field experiment, in Economics Letters, 188, 108947.
Asymmetric Information on the Market for Energy Efficiency: Insights from the Credence Goods Literature
Lanz Bruno, Reins Evert (2020), Asymmetric Information on the Market for Energy Efficiency: Insights from the Credence Goods Literature, in The Energy Journal, 42(4), 91-109.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. H. Sakamoto, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University Japan (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof A. Bommier, Dept of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof W. Emons, Dept of Economics, University of Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
2020 annual conference of the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics Talk given at a conference Smooth-faced expert-sellers: Gift exchange in markets for credence goods 25.07.2020 Higher School of Economics, Moscow (online), Russia Reins Evert;
Irene PhD Meeting Talk given at a conference Reciprocity and gift exchange in markets for credence goods 18.06.2020 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Reins Evert;
Lunch Seminar in Energy, Environmental, Resource and Development Economics Individual talk The chicken or the egg: Technology adoption and network infrastructure in the market for electric vehicles 27.02.2020 ETH Zürich, Switzerland Lanz Bruno;
IRME Workshop, ETH Zurich Talk given at a conference When Social Norms and Self-Image Conflict: A Public Good Experiment with Social Comparison Feedback 24.01.2019 Wengen, Switzerland Lanz Bruno;
University of Kyoto, Division of Natural Resource Economics Lecture Series No. 4 Individual talk When Social Norms and Self-Image Conflict: A Public Good Experiment with Social Comparison Feedback 17.11.2018 Kyoto University, Japan Lanz Bruno;
CUSO: 6th Workshop in Behavioral Economics and Experimental Research Talk given at a conference Reciprocity and gift exchange in markets for credence goods 07.09.2018 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Reins Evert; Lanz Bruno;


Abstract

This proposal describes a research program focusing on the adoption of energy efficient technologies. Through three projects, I provide novel evidence on behavioral barriers to technology adoption, and derive insights on how policies can be designed to mitigate these barriers. First, I study investments in buildings energy efficiency, emphasizing a problem of asymmetric information between buyers and sellers, which induces an inefficiently low level of adoption. I apply theory and experimental methods developed in the general context of credence goods, and document how addressing the information problem can improve the effectiveness of traditional policies (such as subsidies offered through the Programme Bâtiment in Switzerland). Second, I provide empirical evidence on the role of network infrastructure for the adoption of electric vehicles. This project exploits 2010-2015 data from Norway, which experienced rapid deployment of this technology, and enables me to quantify the extent to which the provision of public charging stations affects the market share of electric vehicles. Given the high energy efficiency of electric motors and the large hydroelectric resources available in Switzerland, electric vehicles provide a promising avenue for the future development of mobility in Switzerland. Third, I study how individuals make intertemporal tradeoffs, which is one of the key drivers of investment behavior in general, and of the adoption of energy efficient technologies in particular. This contribution provides novel evidence on time preferences, and will thereby inform the design of policies affecting initial spending on efficient technologies vs. cost savings associated with lower fuel use later in the future. Taken together, results from this program will directly contribute to the formulation of effective policies incentivizing the adoption of new energy technologies, thereby inducing a large-scale change in behavior corresponding to the ambitious 2050 energy strategy of Switzerland.
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