The report “Behavioural Economics Insights for the Design of Environmental Policy Instruments” is devoted to the following central question: How can environmental economic instruments be designed behaviourally in such a way that they are more effective than they have been thus far, and inspire people to more environmentally friendly behaviours?
The report conducts a systematic review of the existing empirical findings. Supplementary empirical investigations were further carried out in relation to the “energy saving” area of application. The behavioural scientific findings offer a range of starting points for the design of new, or the advancement of existing instruments. The research project thus developed a systematisation of instruments that distinguish between cognitive, interactive, incentive-based, and prescriptive instruments. The efficacy of these types of instruments was investigated in an assessment of 30 examples of praxis and other field studies. This demonstrated that, in practice, a mix of instruments is frequently applied. Cognitively-based instruments were employed especially frequently.
In-house empirical research supplemented the research project. These tested a range of instruments for designing energy bills and for portraying consumption costs for white goods in electronics markets. The analyses on the design of energy bills was conducted as a survey with a vignette design and a laboratory experiment supplemented by an agent-based computer simulation. The investigation of white goods was conducted as a field experiment in two electronics stores in Berlin over a period of six months. It was used as the basis for the development of guidelines for the concrete policy practice development of behaviourally-based environmental economics instruments.