Reminders Work, But for Whom? Evidence from New York City Parking-Ticket Recipients
43 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2016 Last revised: 30 Mar 2020
Date Written: March 26, 2020
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: Suggested Citation