in: Energy Research & Social Science 47/2019, 224-232
Despite economic, social and environmental benefits, the uptake of energy-saving compact fluorescent lamp light bulbs (CFLs) in Kibera, an informal settlement in Nairobi, remains low. We conducted a randomized controlled field experiment involving 651 Kibera residents assessing whether the joint impact of monetary incentives and behavioral interventions (pre-commitment and simplified information highlighting CFL benefits) could increase CFL uptake. A monetary incentive covering the incremental cost of a CFL compared to an incandescent bulb positively impacted uptake. However, adding simplified information more than tripled the impact of the monetary incentive alone, resulting in a remarkable uptake rate of about 84%. While a post endline survey conducted two years following the administration of the randomized control trial does not find lasting effects, this paper provides evidence for additional behavioral hypotheses in developing countries, also assessing the contribution of intelligence and measured discount rates to account for potential household present bias. It is to date the only intervention of its type that explores the extent to which behavioral interventions can complement monetary incentives.