Marcela Jaime, University of Gothenburg

"Social norms and information diffusion in water-saving programs: Evidence from a randomized field experiment in Colombia"


This paper investigates the effects of an information campaign aimed at encouraging residential water-savings in Colombia. The experiment was organised as a randomised control trial, consisting of monthly delivery of consumption reports including normative messages during one year.
Specifically, we examine whether the effects of the campaign were indirectly transmitted through social networks. Results indicate that social information and appeal to norm-based behaviour has decreased water use by 4.2% during the first five months following the intervention. We also find significant but short-term evidence of information diffusion from targeted to untargeted households. However, this effect cannot be explained by social networks when social connectedness is proxied by geographic proximity.