Input efficiency as a solution to externalities and resource scarcity: A randomized controlled trial

Peer Reviewed
31 December 2023

Francisco Alpizar, María Bernedo Del Carpio, Paul J. Ferraro


Resource-conserving technologies are widely reported to benefit both the people who adopt them and the environment. Evidence for these “win-win” claims comes largely from modeling or nonexperimental designs and mostly from the energy sector. In a randomized trial of water-efficient technologies, the ex-ante engineering estimate of water use reductions was three times higher than the experimental estimate, a divergence arising from engineering and behavioral reasons other than the rebound effect. Using detailed cost information and experimentally elicited time and risk preferences, we infer that the private welfare gains from adoption are, on average, negative, implying no “efficiency paradox.”

Keywords: adaptation to climate change, efficiency gap, field experiment, product, adoption puzzle

Files and links

Publication reference
Alpizar, F., Bernedo Del Carpio, M., & Ferraro, P. J. (2024). Input Efficiency as a Solution to Externalities and Resource Scarcity: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 11(1), 171–211.
Publication | 19 April 2024