Nudging as an Environmental Policy Instrument
31 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2020 Last revised: 24 Feb 2021
Date Written: April 25, 2019
We discuss the use of green nudges – nudges intended to reduce negative externalities – as an environmental policy instrument. A review of empirical studies reveals that green nudges can have a sizeable impact on behavior and the environment, but that the effects are context dependent. In the policy discussion, drawing on both the empirical overview and basic welfare-economic models, it is emphasized that while green nudges seem to have a large potential, they offer no panacea for solving environmental problems. Instead, they should be seen as a policy instrument among others in the regulator’s toolbox. In particular, we discuss the potential role of nudging when environmental externalities can be dealt with using optimal Pigovian taxes, and when they cannot. Nudging has a greater potential when such taxes are not available or feasible.
Keywords: nudge, environmental policy, behavior
JEL Classification: D90, H21, H23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation