An App-based Environmental Club that Generates Status Races for Environmentally Friendly Behavior through Third-Party Estimation/Ranking of Individual or Household Carbon Footprints

Polluting activities are over-allocated in society because pollution costs are externalized onto others. In other words, environmental friendliness is under-allocated.

When a good is under-allocated, a potential correction is to create or intensify a status race with respect to that good. While some environmentally friendly goods motivate status races (eg, Priuses; opting into recycling services), most such goods lack the salience needed to motivate such a race. An app-based environmental club could generate more general status races for environmentally friendly behavior by estimating individual and/or household carbon footprints (e.g., via verifiable disclosure of energy bills, miles driven, fuel efficiency of car driven,…). Such an estimate would render the environmentally friendly behavior of voluntary participants more observable. Even the decision to participate would provide an individual with environmental status, c.p.

Such status races would promote increases in environmentally friendly behavior toward efficient scale at a time that we need it perhaps most.

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