The Impact of Defaults on Technology Adoption, and Its Underappreciation by Policymakers

38 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2018

See all articles by Peter Bergman

Peter Bergman

Columbia University

Todd Rogers

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: November 09, 2017

Abstract

We conduct an experiment to understand how enrollment defaults affect the take up and impact of an education technology. We show that a standard and simplified opt-in process induce low take up. Automatically enrolling parents increases adoption significantly and improves student achievement. Our surveys show automatic enrollment is uncommon because its impact is underestimated: District leaders overestimate take-up under the standard condition by 38 percentage points and underestimate take-up under automatic enrollment by 31 percentage points. After learning the actual take-up rates, there is a 140% increase in willingness to pay for the technology when shifting implementation to automatic enrollment.

Keywords: adoption, defaults, technology

JEL Classification: I210

Suggested Citation

Bergman, Peter and Rogers, Todd, The Impact of Defaults on Technology Adoption, and Its Underappreciation by Policymakers (November 09, 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6721, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3098299

Peter Bergman (Contact Author)

Columbia University ( email )

Todd Rogers

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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