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Boosting pension enrollment and household consumption by example: A field experiment on information provision

Chong-En Bai, Wei Chi, Tracy Xiao Liu, Chao Tang and Jian Xu

Journal of Development Economics, 2021, vol. 150, issue C

Abstract: In this study, we conduct a large-scale field experiment in the Guangdong province of China to examine the effect of informing individuals about government pension programs on their pension enrollment decisions and household consumption. Our field experiment lasts 12 months and involves 2539 individuals from 1064 households randomly selected from three cities in Guangdong. We send an informational brochure to participants, designed differently for those in the control and treatment groups, and repeat the intervention three times. We find that, compared to the control group, those who receive concrete examples of pension benefits show a greater increase in pension enrollment, with a significant effect for those aged 45–55 years. We also find that, among households headed by participants aged 45–55 years, those who receive personalized benefit information exhibit significantly higher consumption than the control group. These findings support the effectiveness of combining concrete and personalized information in designing informational material as well as the importance of targeting the most responsive population during information delivery.

Keywords: Pension enrollment; Household consumption; Field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D82 E21 H55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2020.102622

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