The Power of a Bad Example – A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal (Revision of CentER DP 2012-054, Replaced by CentER DP 2013-037)

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paperOther research output

Abstract

Abstract: Field-experimental studies have shown that people litter more in more littered environments. Inspired by these findings, many cities around the world have adopted policies to quickly remove litter. While such policies may avoid that people follow the bad example of litterers, they may also invite free-riding on public cleaning services. We are the first to show that both forces are at play. We conduct a natural field experiment where, in a randomly assigned part of a residential area, the frequency of cleaning was drastically reduced during a threemonth period. We find evidence that some people start to clean up after themselves when public cleaning services are diminished. However, the tendency to litter more dominates. We also find evidence for persistency in these responses after the treatment has ended.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherEconomics
Number of pages33
Volume2013-018
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper
Volume2013-018

Fingerprint

experiment
residential area
evidence

Keywords

  • littering
  • public services
  • free-riding
  • field experiment

Cite this

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abstract = "Abstract: Field-experimental studies have shown that people litter more in more littered environments. Inspired by these findings, many cities around the world have adopted policies to quickly remove litter. While such policies may avoid that people follow the bad example of litterers, they may also invite free-riding on public cleaning services. We are the first to show that both forces are at play. We conduct a natural field experiment where, in a randomly assigned part of a residential area, the frequency of cleaning was drastically reduced during a threemonth period. We find evidence that some people start to clean up after themselves when public cleaning services are diminished. However, the tendency to litter more dominates. We also find evidence for persistency in these responses after the treatment has ended.",
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author = "R. Dur and B.A. Vollaard",
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The Power of a Bad Example – A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal (Revision of CentER DP 2012-054, Replaced by CentER DP 2013-037). / Dur, R.; Vollaard, B.A.

Tilburg : Economics, 2013. (CentER Discussion Paper; Vol. 2013-018).

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paperOther research output

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N2 - Abstract: Field-experimental studies have shown that people litter more in more littered environments. Inspired by these findings, many cities around the world have adopted policies to quickly remove litter. While such policies may avoid that people follow the bad example of litterers, they may also invite free-riding on public cleaning services. We are the first to show that both forces are at play. We conduct a natural field experiment where, in a randomly assigned part of a residential area, the frequency of cleaning was drastically reduced during a threemonth period. We find evidence that some people start to clean up after themselves when public cleaning services are diminished. However, the tendency to litter more dominates. We also find evidence for persistency in these responses after the treatment has ended.

AB - Abstract: Field-experimental studies have shown that people litter more in more littered environments. Inspired by these findings, many cities around the world have adopted policies to quickly remove litter. While such policies may avoid that people follow the bad example of litterers, they may also invite free-riding on public cleaning services. We are the first to show that both forces are at play. We conduct a natural field experiment where, in a randomly assigned part of a residential area, the frequency of cleaning was drastically reduced during a threemonth period. We find evidence that some people start to clean up after themselves when public cleaning services are diminished. However, the tendency to litter more dominates. We also find evidence for persistency in these responses after the treatment has ended.

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BT - The Power of a Bad Example – A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal (Revision of CentER DP 2012-054, Replaced by CentER DP 2013-037)

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