When Nudges Aren't Enough: Incentives and Habit Formation in Public Transport Usage

CEBI WORKING PAPER SERIES, Working Paper 10/19, ISSN 2596-44TX, 2019

28 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2019

Date Written: December 6, 2019

Abstract

In three large-scale field experiments with over 32,000 individuals, we investigate whether public transport uptake can be in uenced by behavioral interventions and by economic incentives. Despite their effectiveness in other domains, we find a tightly estimated zero for social norms and implementation intentions on ridership. Doubling the trial period from two to four weeks significantly increases uptake and long-term usage. This increase is sustained for months after removing the incentive. The effect is mainly driven by initial low users, which is evidence for habit formation. While there is scope for long-term behavior change, nudges might not be the right approach.

Keywords: transport, nudging, field experiment, habit formation

JEL Classification: C93, D04, D91, L91

Suggested Citation

Gravert, Christina Annette and Olsson Collentine, Linus, When Nudges Aren't Enough: Incentives and Habit Formation in Public Transport Usage (December 6, 2019). CEBI WORKING PAPER SERIES, Working Paper 10/19, ISSN 2596-44TX, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3500699 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3500699

Christina Annette Gravert (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, DK-1165
Denmark

Linus Olsson Collentine

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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