It's Now or Never! Using Deadlines as Nudges

44 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2015 Last revised: 1 Apr 2016

See all articles by Eyal Zamir

Eyal Zamir

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Daphna Lewinsohn-Zamir

Hebrew University - Faculty of Law

Ilana Ritov

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - School of Education

Date Written: August 6, 2015

Abstract

Incorporating behavioral insights into regulation is plausibly the most significant development in regulatory theory and practice in recent years. Behaviorally informed regulation encourages self-benefiting and socially desirable behaviors with little intrusion on autonomy. Drawing on new empirical findings, this Article puts forward the hitherto overlooked possibility of employing the deadline effect as a regulatory tool.

Deadlines serve as an antidote to procrastination and forgetfulness. Many empirical and experimental studies have examined the use of deadlines in marketing. This study explores the possible use of deadlines by legal policymakers. It describes two survey experiments, a randomized field experiment, and a natural experiment, which suggest that deadlines may encourage self-benefiting and socially desirable behaviors, and that relaxing deadlines may discourage less desirable behavior. The Article discusses the practical and normative aspects of using deadlines as a regulatory means, compared to alternative tools, such as default rules and required choices.

Keywords: Deadline Effect, Libertarian Paternalism, Nudge, Behavioral Economics, Procrastination

JEL Classification: H41, K00, K2, M31

Suggested Citation

Zamir, Eyal and Lewinsohn-Zamir, Daphna and Ritov, Ilana, It's Now or Never! Using Deadlines as Nudges (August 6, 2015). Law and Social Inquiry, Forthcoming; Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper No. 16-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2640675

Eyal Zamir (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel
+972 2 582 3845 (Phone)
+972 2 582 9002 (Fax)

Daphna Lewinsohn-Zamir

Hebrew University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel
972-2-5823845 (Phone)
972-2-5829002 (Fax)

Ilana Ritov

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - School of Education ( email )

Mt. Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 652 9929 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://pluto.huji.ac.il/~msiritov/ilana_ritov.htm

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