NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Andre Gray

Center for Economic and Social Research
University of Southern California
635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Center for Economic and Social Research, USC

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2019Using Vignettes to Improve Understanding of Social Security and Annuities
with Anya Samek, Arie Kapteyn: w26176
Evidence shows that people have difficulty understanding complex aspects of retirement planning, which leads them to under-utilize annuities and claim Social Security benefits earlier than is optimal. To target this problem, we developed vignettes about the consequences of different annuitization and claiming decisions. We evaluated our vignettes using an experiment with a representative online panel of nearly 2,000 Americans. In our experiment, respondents were either assigned to a control group with no vignette, to a written vignette, or to a video vignette. They were then asked to give advice to hypothetical persons on annuitization or Social Security claiming, and were asked factual questions about these concepts. We found evidence that being exposed to vignettes led respondents to giv...
 
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