Reminders Work, But for Whom? Evidence from New York City Parking-Ticket Recipients

43 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2016 Last revised: 30 Mar 2020

See all articles by Ori Heffetz

Ori Heffetz

Cornell University - S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics and Center for Rationality; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ted O'Donoghue

Cornell University - Department of Economics

Henry S. Schneider

Smith School of Business, Queen's University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 26, 2020

Abstract

We study response behavior of New York City parking-ticket recipients, analyzing administrative data on 6.6 million tickets issued to 2 million individuals over two years. Using variation in the timing of reminder letters, we find evidence consistent with significant forgetting. But we find large differences across individuals, and, importantly, those with a low baseline propensity to respond to tickets–a natural nudge target–react least to reminders. These low-response types, who incur significant late penalties, disproportionately come from already disadvantaged groups. They do react strongly to more incentive-based interventions. We discuss how accounting for effect heterogeneity might change one’s approach to policy, and how one might use our analysis to target interventions at low-response types.

Keywords: deadlines, heterogeneous responses, inattention, selection, task completion, task delay, incidence analysis

JEL Classification: D03, D04, D12

Suggested Citation

Heffetz, Ori and O'Donoghue, Ted and Schneider, Henry S., Reminders Work, But for Whom? Evidence from New York City Parking-Ticket Recipients (March 26, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2889749 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2889749

Ori Heffetz (Contact Author)

Cornell University - S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

324 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
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The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics and Center for Rationality

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, IL Jerusalem 91905
Israel

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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HOME PAGE: http://www.nber.org/~heffetz

Ted O'Donoghue

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States
607-255-6287 (Phone)
607-255-2818 (Fax)

Henry S. Schneider

Smith School of Business, Queen's University ( email )

143 Union Street
Kingston, Ontario
Canada

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