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Séminaire du CIRED : Nicolas Astier (TSE, Commission de régulation de l’énergie)

publié le , mis à jour le

Comparative Feedbacks under Incomplete Information

Comparative feedbacks, that is messages providing personalized information about how one’s behavior compares to that of relevant others, are nowadays widely used - sometimes at a very large scale - in order to change people’s behaviors. Yet there are several possible reasons why such feedbacks may affect behaviors, which makes welfare analysis a very challenging task. This paper uses an online experiment to disentangle the role played by incomplete information and the role played by peer pressure. Incomplete information is shown to be a necessary condition for comparative feedbacks to effectively affect participants’ choices, suggesting peer pressure was unlikely to play a major role in our specific setting. Nevertheless comparative feedbacks triggered greater changes in behaviors than other informative-only feedbacks. A possible explanation may be that - contrary to other informative feedbacks - they credibly convey to participants the idea that it should not be too difficult to reach a better outcome