Individual Carbon Footprint Reduction: Evidence from Pro-environmental Users of a Carbon Calculator
We provide the first estimates of how pro-environmental consumers reduce their total carbon footprint using a carbon calculator that covers all financial transactions. We use data from users of a carbon calculator that includes weekly estimates of users’ consumptionbased carbon-equivalent emissions based on detailed financial statements, official registers, and self-reported life-style factors. The calculator is designed to induce behavioral change and gives users detailed information about their footprint, and includes social comparisons, and goal-setting options. By using a robust difference-in-differences analysis with staggered adoption of the calculator, we estimate that users decrease their carbon footprint by around 10 percent in the first few weeks, but over the next few weeks, the reduction fades. Further analysis suggests that the carbon footprint reduction is driven by a combination of a shift from high- to low-emitting consumption categories and a temporary decrease in overall spending, and not by changes in any specific consumption category.
University of Gothenburg
JEL Codes: D12, D91, Q5
Working Papers in Economics