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A large-scale test of the effects of time discounting, risk aversion, loss aversion and present bias on household adoption of energy-efficient technologies

: Schleich, Joachim; Gassmann, Xavier; Meissner, Thomas; Faure, C.


Energy Economics 80 (2019), pp.377-393
ISSN: 0140-9883
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
time discounting; risk aversion; loss aversion; energy efficiency; adoption

This paper empirically and jointly analyses the relations between risk aversion, standard time discounting, present bias, and loss aversion and household stated adoption of low to high stake energy efficiency technologies (EETs) (light emitting diodes (LEDs), energy efficient appliances, and retrofit measures). The analysis relies on a large representative sample drawn from eight European Union countries. Preferences over time, risk and losses were elicited and jointly estimated from participant choices in incentivized, context-free multiple price list experiments. The findings from econometrically estimating EET adoption equations suggest that present-biased individuals are less likely to adopt EETs. They also provide (weak) evidence that individuals which are more risk-averse, or more loss-averse, or which exhibit a lower discount factor are less likely to adopt EETs. Finally, omitting one or several of the time and risk or loss-aversion parameters when estimating the EET adoption equations did not appear to cause omitted variable bias.