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Just Keep My Money! Supporting Tax-Time Savings with US Savings Bonds

40 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2008 Last revised: 17 Aug 2010

Peter Tufano

University of Oxford - Said Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Oxford - Said Business School

Date Written: August 13, 2010

Abstract

This paper reports the results of a 2007 experiment testing if specific process simplification can foster increased take-up rates for savings products, particularly by low-to-moderate income (LMI) households. Tax refund recipients at certain H&R Block tax preparation offices were given the option to purchase U.S. Savings Bonds with their tax refunds, augmenting the tax-site savings options offered by Block. Those who received the savings bond offer were substantially more likely to purchase a savings product on-site than those who didn’t, even after controlling for client demographics. Much of this take-up was directed at intra-family gifting, or asset building on behalf of children.

Suggested Citation

Tufano, Peter, Just Keep My Money! Supporting Tax-Time Savings with US Savings Bonds (August 13, 2010). Harvard Business School Finance Working Paper No. 09-059. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1285385 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1285385

Peter Tufano (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain
+44 (0) 1865 288551 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain
+44 (0) 1865 288551 (Phone)

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