Nudges in Exercise Commitment Contracts: A Randomized Trial

46 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2017 Last revised: 17 Nov 2017

See all articles by Jay Bhattacharya

Jay Bhattacharya

Stanford University - Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Alan M. Garber

Stanford University - Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research; Government of the United States of America - Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert

Stanford University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 1, 2017

Abstract

We consider the welfare consequences of nudges to encourage exercise habit formation. We analyze a randomized trial of nudged exercise commitment contracts using a time-inconsistent intertemporal utility maximization model of the demand for exercise. Our empirical analysis shows that people who are interested in exercise commitment contracts choose longer contracts when nudged to do so, are then more likely to meet their pre-stated exercise goals, and to sign subsequent contracts. Our theoretical analysis of the welfare implications of these effects shows conditions under which nudges can reduce utility even when they succeed in the goal of promoting habitual exercise.

Suggested Citation

Bhattacharya, Jayanta and Garber, Alan M. and Goldhaber-Fiebert, Jeremy D., Nudges in Exercise Commitment Contracts: A Randomized Trial (November 1, 2017). Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics Working Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3048991 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3048991

Jayanta Bhattacharya (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research ( email )

Center for Health Policy
179 Encina Commons
Stanford, CA 94305-6019
United States
650-736-0404 (Phone)
650-723-1919 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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Alan M. Garber

Stanford University - Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research ( email )

179 Encina Commons
Stanford, CA 94305-6019
United States
650-723-0920 (Phone)
650-724-5182 (Fax)

Government of the United States of America - Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Palo Alto, CA 94304
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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