Getting to the Top of Mind: How Reminders Increase Saving
Dean S. Karlan
Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Dartmouth College; Innovations for Poverty Action; Jameel Poverty Action Lab; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
July 1, 2010
Yale University Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper No. 988
Yale Economics Department Working Paper No. 82
We develop and test a simple model of limited attention in intertemporal choice. The model posits that individuals fully attend to consumption in all periods but fail to attend to some future lumpy expenditure opportunities. This asymmetry generates some predictions that overlap with models of present-bias. Our model also generates the unique predictions that reminders may increase saving, and that reminders will be more effective when they increase the salience of a specific expenditure. We find support for these predictions in three field experiments that randomly assign reminders to new savings account holders.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: Intertemporal Consumer Choice, Savings, Attention
JEL Classification: D91, E21working papers series
Date posted: July 12, 2010
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