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Seminar on "From Water Cops to Smart Meters: An Experiment on Water Conservation Policy in the New Era of Automated Enforcement", Ludovica Gazze, University of Chicago - May 23rd

On May 23rd from 12.00 to 13.00 Ludovica Gazze from the University of Chicago will give a seminar on "From Water Cops to Smart Meters: An Experiment on Water Conservation Policy in the New Era of Automated Enforcement",
joint with Oliver R. Browne, Michael Greenstone, Olga Rostapshova.

The event will take place in room B, first floor, building B.


Abstract:
Globally environmental regulations are enforced through costly on-site inspections that detect only few violations. Novel monitoring technologies are poised to transform environmental enforcement. We run a randomized field experiment designed around the adoption of smart water meters that enabled perfect detection of outdoor watering violations. We randomize 80,000 households into 12 groups defined by a) enforcement method (automated or visual), b) fine size, and c) consumption level that triggers a violation. Automated enforcement decreases water use by 3% and violations by 17%, while increasing customer service calls by 500%. Reduced fine levels do not hinder conservation. Automated enforcement does not deter all violations and households decrease use in response to notices of violations.