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A Prospect Theory-based experimental vignette methodology for exploring rebound effects and rebound-damping interventions
Ecological Economics  (IF5.389),  Pub Date : 2021-11-27, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2021.107302
Karolin Schmidt, Philipp Kösling, Sebastian Bamberg, Anke Blöbaum

Reducing energy use through increased energy efficiency in production and consumption represents a crucial strategy by national governments for reaching their climate protection goals. Unfortunately, increasing the technological energy efficiency may raise the demand for these services (i.e., rebound effect). To provide appropriate proposals on how this undesired effect could be stopped or at least damped, the Experimental Vignette Methodology (EVM) represents a research methodology allowing the controlled experimental analysis of causal mechanisms underlying a rebound effect and the empirical evaluation of rebound-damping interventions without the high costs associated with (quasi-) experimental field studies. Based on the results of 12 studies, we are evaluating two types of vignette designs: (1) a single-vignette design theoretically based on an economic perspective on the rebound and (2) a double-vignette design theoretically based on Prospect Theory. Finally, we document how to imbed an experimental test of a psychological intervention's effectiveness. The findings underline the value of the EVM as a viable methodological strategy for analyzing and understanding rebound affine situations and appropriate intervention strategies.