We present a novel approach to identify individuals’ preferences in the context of
sustainable energy consumption by letting them play a public good game (PGG). The
study will be conducted using an energy-efficiency website developed by us and
operated by an Austrian utility company that currently facilitates 9,929 users out of
which 1,000 will be randomly selected as participants. Laboratory experiments on
PGGs identified two types of cooperative behavior: free riders and conditional
cooperators. While free riders tend to act unaffected by the behavior of others,
conditional cooperators are stronger influenced by the perception of their peers. In our
study, participants receive normative feedback on their consumption, and we
investigate the moderating effects of the PGG’s results on changes in energy
consumption. The findings will contribute to the design of information systems to
promote environmental sustainability because their effectiveness is increased if the
consumption feedback provided reflects the recipient’s preference.
AGL Energy operates in one of the most fiercely competitive markets in the world. Demand is volatile with high customer churn rates and supply procurement is real time with huge price variability. These characteristics make supply chain management difficult and the case study describes how information is used to match supply with demand.
Our aim is to assess how the number of working-class students entering German universities can effectively be increased. Therefore, we estimate the proportion of students from the working class that would successfully enter university if certain policy interventions were in place to eliminate primary effects (performance differentials between social classes) and/or secondary effects (choice differentials net of performance) at different transition points. We extend previous research by analysing the sequence of transitions between elementary school enrolment and university enrolment and by accounting for the impact that manipulations at earlier transitions have on the performance distribution and size of the student ‘risk-set’ at subsequent transitions. To this end, we develop a novel simulation procedure which seeks to find viable solutions to the shortcomings in the German data landscape. Our findings show that interventions are most effective if they take place early in the educational career. Neutralizing secondary effects at the transition to upper secondary school proves to be the single most effective means of increasing participation rates in tertiary education among working-class students. However, this comes at the expense of lower average performance levels.
Despite educational expansion and decreasing social inequalities in access to upper secondary education, increasing social inequalities can be found in the transition from upper secondary to tertiary education in Germany. Drawing on Boudon’s distinction between primary and secondary effects of social origin, we describe two potential sources which can be considered responsible for the observed pattern: first, an increase in performance differentials between upper secondary graduates from different social backgrounds, and second, a heterogenization of educational motivations and post-secondary plans among upper secondary graduates. We test these hypotheses with a series of datasets of upper secondary graduation cohorts from 1976 to 2002, provided by the German Higher Education Information System and apply a decomposition method in order to test the development of the contribution of various measures of primary and secondary effects. We find that primary effects play only a negligible role for the explanation of increasing social inequalities over time, whereas the growing class-specific differences in the transition to tertiary education are primarily due to increasing secondary effects.