Behavioural Control in Resource Conservation |

Behavioural Control in Resource Conservation

IWP Research Seminar


Resource consumption creates societal problems at many levels: pollution of the environment leads to economic and social costs from health consequences, and scarcity of resources fuel regional tensions and conflicts. A key problem in resource consumption is the lack of visibility and behavioural control of resource use by households as they engage in their daily behaviours. In this talk, I provide an overview of the research that tries to restore visibility and behavioural control by providing individuals with real-time feedback on resource consumption. I present evidence from a large scale field experiment that allows one to understand the behavioural mechanisms behind the observed conservation efforts. We find that behavioural control plays a large role, while imperfect information about one’s energy use plays a very small role.

Prof. Lorenz Goette

Full Professor, Department of Economics, University of Bonn and Director of the Doctoral Program in Behavioral Economics and Experimental Research of the Conférence des universités de la suisse occidentale

Lorenz Goette has obtained his Ph.D. from the Unversity of Zurich in 2001. He is professor of economics at the University of Bonn, and recurring visiting professor at the National University of Singapore. Previously, Goette was senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and a professor of economics at the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva. He was also a visiting professor at MIT and the Central European University, Budapest.

His research interests are in the field of “economics and psychology,” a field that tries to understand systematic violations of the standard model in economics. His current research focus is on prosocial behavior in the field. In one line of research, as part of a group of collaborators, he studies how real-time feedback can help individuals with resource and energy efficiency, and what its underlying mechanisms are. This research is being conducted in (so far) six large-scale field experiments in Germany, Switzerland and Singapore, with over 10,000 individuals and households participating. In collaboration with the blood transfusion service of the Red Cross in Switzerland, Goette also studies how prosocial motivation can spill over between individuals in the context of blood donations, and how these motivations can be used to foster prosocial behavior. 

Lorenz Goette has published his research in leading journals, such as the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, Management Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Science. In addition to the impact on academic research, Goette’s research also provides decision makers in the private and public sector with new tools that are readily deployable in the field. His collaborations include power companies in Switzerland and Germany, Singapore’s Public Utility Board, the Red Cross of Switzerland, and McKinsey & Company.

Chair Person:

Prof. Chen Kang, Director (MPAM and Chinese Executive Education) and Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Monday, 15 May 2017

12:15 pm-1:30 pm


Seminar Room 3-5,
Manasseh Meyer,
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy,
469C Bukit Timah Road,
Singapore 259772

Seats are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Kindly register your interest in attending by 11th May 2017. Register now

Please note that by clicking on the registration link above, you will be directly forwarded to a 3rd party independent site, which is not developed nor maintained by NUS. The website could be subject to data protection and privacy practices and you are encouraged to examine them before proceeding to share your personal data. NUS will collect, use and/or disclose the personal data submitted through this 3rd party independent site for the purpose of scheduling, processing, administration and/or management of the event. Please note that photography, audio and video recording may occur during this event. All photography, audio and video recording may be used by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the National University of Singapore for education, marketing, promotional and/or publication purposes. If you do not wish to have your image recorded or published, for compelling and legitimate grounds relating to your particular situation, please inform our staff.

WordPress Video Lightbox Plugin