The Effect of Incentives on Sustainable Behavior: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Laura Rosendahl Huber, Randolph Sloof, Mirjam Van Praag

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    This study investigates how children respond to different treatments aimed to fostersustainable behavior in a productive (firm like) setting. We conduct a field experiment using teams of children (aged 11 or 12) that are participating in an entrepreneurship education program in the last grade of primary school in the Netherlands. Schools participating in this program are randomly assigned to one of three treatments: the first is purely financially oriented, the second promotes sustainable behavior and the third also induces sustainability by (monetary) incentives. Comparing the first twogroups we find that solely promoting sustainability does not lead to a change in sustainable behavior. However, once the monetary reward is linked to sustainable outcome measures, we find a significant positive effect on sustainable behavior. Inour specificsetting, the choice to behave more sustainable comes at the cost of weaker financial performance of the team.
    This study investigates how children respond to different treatments aimed to fostersustainable behavior in a productive (firm like) setting. We conduct a field experiment using teams of children (aged 11 or 12) that are participating in an entrepreneurship education program in the last grade of primary school in the Netherlands. Schools participating in this program are randomly assigned to one of three treatments: the first is purely financially oriented, the second promotes sustainable behavior and the third also induces sustainability by (monetary) incentives. Comparing the first twogroups we find that solely promoting sustainability does not lead to a change in sustainable behavior. However, once the monetary reward is linked to sustainable outcome measures, we find a significant positive effect on sustainable behavior. Inour specificsetting, the choice to behave more sustainable comes at the cost of weaker financial performance of the team.
    LanguageEnglish
    JournalLabour Economics
    Volume45
    Pages92-106
    Number of pages15
    ISSN0927-5371
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 2017

    Keywords

    • Incentives
    • Sustainability
    • Education
    • Sustainable behavior
    • Field experiment

    Cite this

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    title = "The Effect of Incentives on Sustainable Behavior: Evidence from a Field Experiment",
    abstract = "This study investigates how children respond to different treatments aimed to fostersustainable behavior in a productive (firm like) setting. We conduct a field experiment using teams of children (aged 11 or 12) that are participating in an entrepreneurship education program in the last grade of primary school in the Netherlands. Schools participating in this program are randomly assigned to one of three treatments: the first is purely financially oriented, the second promotes sustainable behavior and the third also induces sustainability by (monetary) incentives. Comparing the first twogroups we find that solely promoting sustainability does not lead to a change in sustainable behavior. However, once the monetary reward is linked to sustainable outcome measures, we find a significant positive effect on sustainable behavior. Inour specificsetting, the choice to behave more sustainable comes at the cost of weaker financial performance of the team.",
    keywords = "Incentives, Sustainability, Education, Sustainable behavior, Field experiment, Incentives, Sustainability, Education, Sustainable behavior, Field experiment",
    author = "Huber, {Laura Rosendahl} and Randolph Sloof and {Van Praag}, Mirjam",
    year = "2017",
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    journal = "Labour Economics",
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    The Effect of Incentives on Sustainable Behavior : Evidence from a Field Experiment. / Huber, Laura Rosendahl; Sloof, Randolph; Van Praag, Mirjam.

    In: Labour Economics, Vol. 45, 04.2017, p. 92-106.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    T2 - Labour Economics

    AU - Huber,Laura Rosendahl

    AU - Sloof,Randolph

    AU - Van Praag,Mirjam

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    AB - This study investigates how children respond to different treatments aimed to fostersustainable behavior in a productive (firm like) setting. We conduct a field experiment using teams of children (aged 11 or 12) that are participating in an entrepreneurship education program in the last grade of primary school in the Netherlands. Schools participating in this program are randomly assigned to one of three treatments: the first is purely financially oriented, the second promotes sustainable behavior and the third also induces sustainability by (monetary) incentives. Comparing the first twogroups we find that solely promoting sustainability does not lead to a change in sustainable behavior. However, once the monetary reward is linked to sustainable outcome measures, we find a significant positive effect on sustainable behavior. Inour specificsetting, the choice to behave more sustainable comes at the cost of weaker financial performance of the team.

    KW - Incentives

    KW - Sustainability

    KW - Education

    KW - Sustainable behavior

    KW - Field experiment

    KW - Incentives

    KW - Sustainability

    KW - Education

    KW - Sustainable behavior

    KW - Field experiment

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