Seminars & webinars
11 October, 2017

FEEM Research Seminar on "How Many Economists does it take to Change a Light Bulb? A Natural Field Experiment on Technology Adoption"

Where: Milan

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei
Corso Magenta 63
20123 Milan
at FEEM Venice

How to reach: Google map
Event's Timetable:

h. 12.30 Seminar
In Milan a light lunch will follow the seminar for registered participants.


Registration is required. Please confirm your participation here.
The seminar will be broadcasted via GoToMeeting.
Seminars Office,


Giovanni Ponti, LUISS Guido Carli


This paper explores factors that impact residential adoption of environmental technologies by comparing approaches to technology adoption from economics and psychology. We design a large scale door-to-door field experiment in the spirit of Della Vigna, List, and Malmendier (2009) that identifies the influence of prices, “social pressure” and “curiosity” on the decision to adopt such technologies. We also develop a theoretical model of adoption and perform structural estimation and welfare calculations. Empirical results suggest that both prices and social norms influence the purchase decision and encourage adoption. Interestingly, our results suggest a monetary value for social norms in the range of 30-70% ($1.40 - $3.50) of the $5.00 purchase price for CFLs. However, these factors work on different margins. Whereas social norms have greatest import on the extensive margin, prices work along both the intensive and extensive margins (therefore influencing the number of packages purchased).

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How Many Economists does it take to Change a Light Bulb? A Natural Field Experiment on Technology Adoption

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