NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Defaults and Attention: The Drop Out Effect

Andrew Caplin, Daniel J. Martin

NBER Working Paper No. 17988
Issued in April 2012
NBER Program(s):   PE

When choice options are complex, policy makers may seek to reduce decision making errors by making a high quality option the default. We show that this positive effect is at risk because such a policy creates incentives for decision makers to "drop out" by paying no attention to the decision and accepting the default sight unseen. Using decision time as a proxy for attention, we confirm the importance of this effect in an experimental setting. A key challenge for policy makers is to measure, and if possible mitigate, such drop out behavior in the field.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17988

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Caplin and Martin w17163 A Testable Theory of Imperfect Perception
Choi, Haisley, Kurkoski, and Massey w17843 Small Cues Change Savings Choices
Benjamin, Heffetz, Kimball, and Szembrot w18374 Beyond Happiness and Satisfaction: Toward Well-Being Indices Based on Stated Preference
Bordalo, Gennaioli, and Shleifer w17947 Salience and Consumer Choice
Milkman, Beshears, Choi, Laibson, and Madrian w17995 Following Through on Good Intentions: The Power of Planning Prompts
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us