Small Cues Change Savings Choices
NBER Working Paper No. 17843
Issued in February 2012, Revised in June 2012
NBER Program(s):Aging, Asset Pricing, Public Economics
In randomized field experiments, we embedded one- to two-sentence anchoring, goal-setting, or savings threshold cues in emails to employees about their 401(k) savings plan. We find that anchors increase or decrease 401(k) contribution rates by up to 1.9% of income. A high savings goal example raises contribution rates by up to 2.2% of income. Highlighting a higher savings threshold in the match incentive structure raises contributions by up to 1.5% of income relative to highlighting the lower threshold. Highlighting the maximum possible contribution rate raises contribution rates by up to 2.9% of income among low savers.
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Acknowledgments and Disclosures
Machine-readable bibliographic record -
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17843
Published: Choi, James J. & Haisley, Emily & Kurkoski, Jennifer & Massey, Cade, 2017. "Small cues change savings choices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 378-395. citation courtesy of
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