Monetary and Moral Incentives of Behavioral Interventions: Field Experimental Evidence from Hotel Guest Energy Efficiency Programs

29 Mar 2019
12:00nn - 1:00pm
Room 5561 (Lift 27-28)
Division of Public Policy


Toshi H. Arimura

Director, Research Institute for Environmental Economics and Management
Professor, School of Political Science and Economics
Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
(joint with Y.Funaki, H.Katayama, A. Morimoto, H.Okajima, S.Okajima)


CO2 emission from the service sector is growing in many countries. In Japan, the hotel industry needs some intervention to mitigate emissions because tourism is booming. We conducted a field experiment in a Japanese hotel to promote energy conservation from hotel guests. More specifically, we examined whether we can reduce energy consumption from hotel guests using a smart meter system and various messages. We found that a simple message requesting energy conservation does not lead to the reduction of electricity or hot water usage. However, if we appeal to the moral incentive by setting up a scheme in which the hotel donates to an environmental NGO in response to the energy savings by guests, then they tend to reduce electricity consumption. We also found that monetary incentive works if we give a decent amount of monetary incentive. 

Short Bio 

Dr. Toshi H. Arimura is a Professor of Political Science and Economics and Director of the Research Institute for Environment Economics and Management at Waseda University in Tokyo. Prior to joining Waseda, he was a Professor at Sophia University in Tokyo and was a visiting scholar with George Mason University and Resources for the Future as a recipient of the Abe Fellowship. His research interests include climate change, energy policies, air pollution regulations and voluntary environmental actions. He has published his research in academic journals such as Journal Environmental Economics and Management or Energy Policy. He is a coauthor of An Evaluation of Japanese Environmental Regulation: A Quantitative Approach from Environmental Economics (Springer 2015). Dr. Arimura holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota, an MSc in environmental sciences from the University of Tsukuba and a BA in history of science from the University of Tokyo. He has served on a number of Japanese government committees on environmental issues and on a editorial board of academic journals such as Review of Environmental Economics and Policy or Environmental Economics and Policy Studies. In 2018 he is awarded SEEPS Outstanding Publication Award from Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies (Japanese Association of Environmental Economics and Policy).

Organizer: Division of Public Policy