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Samantha De Martino - Research Summary

University of Cape Town

Monetary and Non Monetary Incentives to Change Behaviour

As a PODER fellow at the University of Cape Town, I worked with Professor Martine Visser and Dr. Kerri Brick to design multiple field experiments testing behavioral interventions to decrease water consumption in residential households, and separately, to increase uptake of energy efficient technology in residential households. The first project was in partnership with the City of Cape Town. Together we implemented a large scale randomized control trial to test behavioral interventions to decrease residential water consumption during a severe drought. Using inserts in monthly municipal bills, we randomized nine behavioral message on 412 489 households over six months. The treatments are classified into five groups: information provision and increased salience on tariff structures of public utilities; public good framing, financial framing, social comparison, and social recognition framing. By using a number of different framings, the study focuses on identifying which incentives best motivate households of different income levels to reduce their consumption.  Overall, we found social incentives reduce consumption only in high income households, whereas salience and financial framing reduce consumption only in lower income households.

Current working Papers (links forthcoming):

1. “Behavioural Interventions for Water Conservation: Evidence from South Africa” with Kerri Brick and Martine Visser.

2. “All for the Fame? Image Motivation and Pro Social Behaviour” with Kerri Brick and Martine Visser.

3. "Loss Aversion and Water Conservation" with Kerri Brick and Martine Visser.

The research has also received coverage in Mail & Guardian