The effects of offering monetary incentives for performing environmentally desirable be-haviours are investigated in the context of a pay-by-weight scheme for garbage collection. Effects on different types of recycling and on the motivation behind recycling are investigated in a field setting based on a random sample (n = 1955) drawn from two groups of three matched municipalities, where households in one group pay a fixed fee for garbage collection and in the other a fee depending on the weight of their garbage. The study finds that the latter deliver more to recycling and compost more in the garden. A substantial proportion of the effect is mediated through perceived self-efficacy and personal norms. The results are consistent with the proposition that government regulation of any kind communicates norms and responsibilities and that, therefore, it can enhance internalised motivation in the form of a moral norm.
Journal of Consumer Policy, 2003, Vol 26, Issue 2, p. 197-228