Using a household survey conducted in a suburb of Tokyo, we examine whether individuals properly perceive the benefits of energy-saving actions. A bivariate regression shows that, on average, individuals overestimate the benefits. The tendency to overestimate is robust to controlling for individual and home characteristics. Our results are contrary to those of Attari et al. (2011), who found that individuals in the U.S. tended to underestimate the benefits of energy-saving activities. The difference in our results suggests that the provision of information about the benefits of energy saving may be an effective policy to address global warming issues in one country but not necessarily in all countries. We also find that the magnitude of overestimation is greatest among young single males, whereas the benefits perceived by older married females are the smallest. This result suggests that the provision of tailored information (i.e., highly personalized and specific information) can be an effective intervention even in Japan.
ASJC Scopus subject areas