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

Homonoff (2012)
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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.