NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert

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Working Papers

July 2015Nudges in Exercise Commitment Contracts: A Randomized Trial
with Jay Bhattacharya, Alan M. Garber: w21406
We consider the welfare consequences of nudges and other behavioral economic devices to encourage exercise habit formation. We analyze a randomized trial of nudged exercise commitment contracts in the context of a time-inconsistent intertemporal utility maximization model of the demand for exercise. The trial follows more than 4,000 people seeking to make exercise commitments. Each person was randomly nudged towards making longer (20 weeks) or shorter (8 weeks) exercise commitment contracts. Our empirical analysis shows that people who are interested in exercise commitment contracts choose longer contracts when nudged to do so, and are then more likely to meet their pre-stated exercise goals. People are also more likely to enroll in a subsequent commitment contract after the original ...
June 2014Will Divestment from Employment-Based Health Insurance Save Employers Money? The Case of State and Local Governments
with David M. Studdert, Monica S. Farid, Jay Bhattacharya: w20222
Reforms introduced by the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act (ACA) build new sources of coverage around employment-based health insurance. But what if firms find it cheaper to have their employees obtain insurance from these sources, even after accounting for penalties (for non-provision of insurance) and employee bonuses (to ensure the shift is cost neutral for them)? State and local governments (SLGs) have strong incentives to consider the economics of such “divestment”; many have large unfunded benefits liabilities. We investigated whether SLGs would save under two scenarios: (1) shifting all employees and under-65-retirees to alternative sources of coverage; (2) shifting only employees whose household incomes indicate they would be eligible for federally subsidized coverage and...

Forthcoming: Will Divestment from Employment-Based Health Insurance Save Employers Money? The Case of State and Local Governments, Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert, David M. Studdert, Monica Farid, Jay Bhattacharya. in Retirement and Health Benefits in the Public Sector, Clark and Newhouse. 2015

December 2010Committing to Exercise: Contract Design for Virtuous Habit Formation
with Erik Blumenkranz, Alan M. Garber: w16624
Sedentary lifestyles, obesity, and obesity-related chronic diseases have become increasingly common among U.S. adults, posing a major health policy challenge. While individuals may be interested in exercising more to reduce these health risks, they often have difficultly forming long-term exercise habits. Behavioral economic devices like commitment contracts aid individuals make repeated actions in situations where there are upfront costs and the benefits, though substantial, are delayed. It is not known whether such contracts can help individuals to sustain increased exercise. We conducted a randomized controlled trial to test whether nudges and anchoring could be used to shift the types of exercise commitment contracts people entered into using a web-based contract creation tool. At the ...

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