Passive Decisions and Potent Defaults
David Laibson (),
Brigitte Madrian and
Andrew Metrick ()
No 9917, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
Default options have an enormous impact on household choices.' Defaults matter because opting out of a default is costly and these costs change over time, generating an option value of waiting. In addition, people have a tendency to procrastinate. We develop a theory of optimal defaults based on these considerations. We find that it is sometimes optimal to set extreme defaults, which are far away from the mean optimal savings rate. A default that is far away from a consumer's optimal savings rate may make that consumer better off since such a bad' default will lead procrastinating consumers to more quickly opt out of the default. We calibrate our model and use it to calculate optimal defaults for employees at four different companies. Our work suggests that optimal defaults are likely to be at one of three savings rates: the minimum savings rate (i.e., 0%), the match threshold (typically 5% or 6%), or the maximal savings rate.
JEL-codes: D1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Note: EFG AG PE
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed
Published as Passive Decisions and Potent Defaults , James J. Choi, David Laibson, Brigitte C. Madrian, Andrew Metrick. in Analyses in the Economics of Aging , Wise. 2005
Downloads: (external link)
Chapter: Passive Decisions and Potent Defaults (2005)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9917
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Series data maintained by ().