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

47 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2021

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

A large fraction of households have very little savings buffer and are therefore vulnerable to financial shocks. This paper examines whether a social norm nudge can induce such households to save more. We ran a large-scale field experiment at a retail bank in the Netherlands. We find that households who are exposed to the social norm nudge click more often on a link to a personal web page 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. A complementary small-scale survey experiment suggests that people did notice the social norm nudge and also that it had an impact on savings intentions.

JEL Classification: C930, D140, D900, E210, G400

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 (2021). CESifo Working Paper No. 8894, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3791863

Robert Dur (Contact Author)

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

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

Tinbergen Institute

Amsterdam/Rotterdam
Netherlands

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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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, Zuid Holland 2300 RA
Netherlands

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