A study by economics professor Matthew Kahn showing how energy conservation incentives can sometimes lead to greater consumption was featured on the American Public Media radio program "Marketplace."
Like a lot of things, environmental conservation is another issue that divides conservatives and liberals -- but maybe it can turn into a bipartisan issue with a little bit of tweaking on how the conservation message is conveyed.
There are academic studies on pretty much every topic you can imagine released all the time. Most fade into the relative obscurity of one journal or another -- but there is occasionally research that catches on with the mainstream media. One such example came out of UCLA a couple of months ago, about a program aimed at inspiring people to save energy. "Nudges Gone Wrong" was a typical headline about it. Economists analyzed a group of utility customers who were getting regular notices from their power company comparing their energy use with similar households. Researchers found that some conservatives, as in political conservatives, didn't respond all that well to a little noodging from their power company to conserve.
To read the full story by Kai Ryssdal and listen to the broadcast click here.
Published: Friday, July 16, 2010