FRS Lecture: Public Good Provision for Multi group
Event Date: 16 Feb 2016 04:00 AM - 16 Feb 2016 05:00 AM
Event Venue: Value Lab Asia, Singapore-ETH Centre, CREATE Lvl 6
The Provision of Public Goods in Multiple Group Membership Settings:
Lessons to be Learned for Energy Efficient Demand
If private households were to increase their energy efficiency, this would not only be helpful for them in reducing energy costs without loss in comfort, but also helpful for the society by decreasing overall energy demand and reducing contribution to climate change. In this sense, increasing energy efficiency is seen as contribution to a public good by reducing energy demand.
The question is: under what conditions are individual decision makers more or less willing to contribute to this public good?
Economic research has piled up evidence that voluntary public good provision, such as investing in energy-efficient measures or reducing energy consumption, is not sustainable over time. Especially in settings where multiple group membership is the rule rather than the exception or where actors are heterogeneous in income, the coordination of public goods is difficult.
While global cooperation is more efficient, individuals fail to coordinate and focus on local, and often less efficient public goods provision. We use experimental economics to investigate whether a change in perspective helps to foster cooperation for efficient public good provision. When subjects change perspective i.e. switch roles for a period of time, subsequent cooperation on the global level increases significantly. These insights may inform policy makers about a new tool to increase coordination for efficient public goods provision, such as more efficient-energy solutions.
Prof Renate Schubert holds the Chair of Economics at ETH Zurich and is a Principal Investigator of the Future Resilient Systems programme. From 1993 to 2006, she headed the Centre for Economic Research at ETH Zurich. In 2006 she founded the Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED) which she has been heading since then. This Institute interlinks economics, political science and psychology. Decisions concerning issues like global climate change, renewable energies, or energy consumption are analysed and supported. Renate Schubert has authored numerous articles and books tackling questions of decision-making under risk and uncertainty, energy and environmental issues, developing countries’ problems as well as gender issues. For many years, Prof Schubert has been Committee member of the Swiss and German National Scientific Councils.
Dr Jan Schmitz is a Postdoctoral Researcher at ETH Zurich in the Chair of Economics in Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED). He received his PHD from the University of Hamburg in Germany and his expertise is related to experimental and environmental economics and corporate social responsibility.
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