Working Papers


WP-011: Hunt Allcott, "Paternalism and Energy Eciency: An Overview" (August 2015)

This review paper provides an overview of the application of behavioral public economics to energy e!ciency. I document policymakers’ arguments for “paternalistic” energy e!ciency policies, formalize with a simple model of misoptimizing consumers, review and critique empirical evidence, and suggest future research directions. While empirical results suggest that policies to address imperfect information and internalities may increase welfare in some cases, some existing policies may be mistargeted or miscalibrated.