Nudges to Increase the Effectiveness of Environmental Education: New evidence from a field experiment

Author Name IGEI Kengo (Keio University) / KUROKAWA Hirofumi (University of Hyogo) / ISEKI Masato (Zero Waste Japan) / KITSUKI Akinori (Kyushu University) / KURITA Kenichi (Kyushu University) / MANAGI Shunsuke (Faculty Fellow, RIETI) / NAKAMURO Makiko (Faculty Fellow, RIETI) / SAKANO Akira (Zero Waste Japan)
Creation Date/NO. December 2022 22-E-111
Research Project Human capital (Education·Health) investment and productivity
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We examined the effectiveness of nudge and boost in environmental education classes on students’ attitudes toward environmental issues and energy-saving behaviors. We randomly assigned the target of this study, students in 8 primary schools and 6 junior high schools, with four types of interventions: receiving only environmental education (the control group), education with either nudges (goal-setting of energy-saving actions) or boosts (playing a game with “the tragedy of the commons” setting) only, and education with both nudges and boosts. We confirmed that students subject to boosts significantly became more environmentally conscious in the game and set more goals in the nudge task. The follow-up survey one month after the intervention revealed that students who set more targets in the nudge and boost group showed higher energy-saving awareness and environmental attitudes and took more energy-saving actions and reduced water consumption at home. We also found that even three months after the intervention, students who set more goals in the nudge and boost group were more energy conscious and implemented more energy-saving actions, and reduced water consumption at home.