"Pay-later" vs. "pay-as-you-go": Experimental evidence on present-biased overconsumption and the importance of timing


Werthschulte, Madeline


[img] PDF
dp20089.pdf - Published

Download (3MB)

URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/58785
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-587859
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2020
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 20-089
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: C91 , D15 , D91 , Q49,
Keywords (English): Payment schemes , present bias , discounting , lab experiment , energy
Abstract: When consuming goods provided by public utilities, such as telecommunication, water, gas or electricity, the predominant payment scheme is pay-later billing. This paper identifies one potential consequence of pay-later schemes, present-biased overconsumption of the respective good, and tests the effectiveness of pay-as-you-go schemes in reducing consumption. Specifically, I run a lab experiment which mimics an energy consumption choice and randomizes the timing of when consumption costs are paid: Either immediately (‘pay-as-you-go’) or one-week after consumption (‘pay-later’). Results show that pay-as-you-go billing significantly decreases consumption, and in particular wasteful consumption. As the design controls for contaminating effects, these results can be solely attributed to present-biased discounting under the pay-later scheme. These results imply that pay-as-you-go schemes will be welfare improving both from agent's own perspective and from a social perspective if externalities are involved. In contrast, classic price-based polices will need correctives to account for present bias arising under pay-later schemes.

Das Dokument wird vom Publikationsserver der Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim bereitgestellt.




Metadata export


Citation


+ Search Authors in

+ Download Statistics

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics



You have found an error? Please let us know about your desired correction here: E-Mail


Actions (login required)

Show item Show item