Paternalism and Energy Efficiency: An Overview

Hunt Allcott

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    This article provides an overview of the application of behavioral public economics to energy efficiency. I document policy makers' arguments for "paternalistic" energy efficiency policies, formalize with a simple model of misoptimizing consumers, review and critique empirical evidence, and suggest future research directions. Although empirical results suggest that policies to address imperfect information and internalities may increase welfare in some cases, some existing policies may be mistargeted or miscalibrated.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)145-176
    Number of pages32
    JournalAnnual Review of Economics
    StatePublished - Oct 31 2016


    • Behavioral public economics
    • Energy efficiency

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics


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