Can Small Incentives Have Large Effects? the Impact of Taxes Versus Bonuses on Disposable Bag Use.

Homonoff (2012)
Summary by 
Mark Egan

This paper looks at the efficacy of using financial incentives to encourage prosocial behavior by levying a 5 cent tax on plastic bags in Washington D.C.Despite the trivial fee, it had a significant effect on disposable bag use. A similar policy that offered a 5 cent bonus had no significant effect on behavior. In the graph note the before/after effects in Montgomery County of introducing the tax.