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Spreading the word! Addressing spillover effects of a social comparison campaign on water conservation.

This paper reports a randomized experiment designed to produce and measure the spillover effects of a social comparison campaign on residential water consumption in Colombia. Randomization follows a saturation design at two levels. First, a percentage of directly treated households is randomly assigned across villages. Second, treatment status to households conditional to the saturation level. I find that accounting for spillovers leads to higher effects than in previous interventions. Also, feedback in shorter periods is more effective in reinforcing the conservation behavior.  This paper emphasizes the importance of activating social norms in environmental concerns.  Using spillovers accurately could help to diffuse desirable behavior or to avoid adverse ones at a lower cost.

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