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

37 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2016 Last revised: 4 Mar 2021

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: February 14, 2021

Abstract

We investigate heterogeneity in responsiveness to reminder letters among New York City parking-ticket recipients. Using variation in the timing of letters, we find a strong aggregate response. But we find large differences across individuals: those with a low baseline propensity to respond to tickets—a natural nudge target—react least to letters. These low-response types, who incur significant late penalties, disproportionately come from already disadvantaged groups. They do react strongly to traditional, incentive-based interventions. We discuss how accounting for response heterogeneity might change one’s approach to policy, and how one might use our analysis to target interventions at low-response types.

Keywords: nudge, 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 (February 14, 2021). 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 )

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The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics and Center for Rationality

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91905
Israel

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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HOME PAGE: http://www.nber.org/~heffetz

Ted O'Donoghue

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

414 Uris Hall
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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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