Labels as nudges? An experimental study of car eco-labels

Expilab Research_Labels as Nudges_An Experimental Study of Car Eco-Labels

Working paper related to “Testing CO2 / Car labelling options and consumer information” report published by the European Commission (DG CLIMA) is available for download

The first working paper is currently available for download from Ideas (external link) and Econpapers (external link). This paper stems from the report “Testing CO2 / Car labelling options and consumer information” published by the European Commission (DG CLIMA) and delivered by LSE, Open Evidence and Block de Ideas. Expilab Research was subcontracted by the Research Consortium to design, program and deliver laboratory and online behavioral experiments across 10 EU member states.

Sample of experimental conditions including process-tracing included into original online experiment contact as a part of the study “Testing CO2 / Car labelling options and consumer information”

This article presents the results of a laboratory experiment and an online multi-country experiment testing the effect of motor vehicle eco-labels on consumers. The laboratory study featured a discrete choice task and questions on comprehension, while the ten countries online experiment included measures of willingness to pay and comprehension. Labels focusing on fuel economy or running costs are better understood, and influence choice about money-related eco-friendly behaviour. We suggest that this effect comes through mental accounting of fuel economy. In the absence of a cost saving frame, we do not find a similar effect of information on CO2 emissions and eco-friendliness. Labels do not perform as well as promotional materials. Being embedded into a setting, which is designed to capture the attention, the latter are more effective. We found also that large and expensive cars tend to be undervalued once fuel economy is highlighted.

eco-label; nudge; willingness to pay; fuel economy; experiments



Expilab Research S.L. is a specialised technological partner with a record in designing, programming and conducting complex behavioral experiments in social sciences, consumer research, and public policy-making. Expilab’s research platform allows creation or replication any online environments from search engines, web-stores, showrooms, healthcare portals, social networks to fully-functional and realistic online gambling websites.

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07 Jul 2016


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