A Social Norm Nudge to Save More: A Field Experiment at a Retail Bank

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2019-063/I

45 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2019

See all articles by Robert Dur

Robert Dur

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Dimitry Fleming

ING Bank - Netherlands Office; ING Bank - Netherlands Office

Marten van Garderen

ING Bank - Netherlands Office

Max van Lent

Leiden University

Date Written: August 21, 2019

Abstract

A large fraction of households have very little savings buffer and are therefore vulnerable to financial shocks. We examine whether a social norm nudge can stimulate such households to save more by running a small-scale survey experiment and a large-scale field experiment at a retail bank in the Netherlands. The survey experiment shows that a social norm nudge increases intended savings. In line with this, we find in our field experiment that households who are exposed to the social norm nudge click more often on a link to a personal webpage where they can start or adjust an automatic savings plan. However, analyzing detailed bank data, we find no treatment effect on actual savings, neither in the short run nor in the long run. Our null findings are quite precisely estimated.

Keywords: household savings, field experiment, nudges, social norms

JEL Classification: G40, C93, D14

Suggested Citation

Dur, Robert and Fleming, Dimitry and van Garderen, Marten and van Lent, Max, A Social Norm Nudge to Save More: A Field Experiment at a Retail Bank (August 21, 2019). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2019-063/I. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3442797 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3442797

Robert Dur (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics ( email )

FEW / H 8-15
P.O. Box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31-10-4082159 (Phone)
+31-10-4089161 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://people.few.eur.nl/dur

Tinbergen Institute

Amsterdam/Rotterdam
Netherlands

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Dimitry Fleming

ING Bank - Netherlands Office ( email )

1102 MG Amsterdam
P.O. Box 1800
1000 BV Amsterdam
Netherlands

ING Bank - Netherlands Office ( email )

1102 MG Amsterdam
P.O. Box 1800
1000 BV Amsterdam
Netherlands

Marten Van Garderen

ING Bank - Netherlands Office ( email )

1102 MG Amsterdam
P.O. Box 1800
1000 BV Amsterdam
Netherlands

Max Van Lent

Leiden University ( email )

Postbus 9500
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

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