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Small cues change savings choices

James Choi, Emily Haisley, Jennifer Kurkoski and Cade Massey

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017, vol. 142, issue C, 378-395

Abstract: We present evidence from randomized field experiments that 401(k) savings choices are significantly affected by one- to two-sentence anchoring, goal-setting, or savings threshold cues embedded in emails sent to employees about their 401(k) plan. Even though these cues contain little to no marginal information, cues that make high savings rates salient increased 401(k) contribution rates by up to 2.9% of income in a pay period, and cues that make low savings rates salient decreased 401(k) contribution rates by up to 1.4% of income in a pay period. Cue effects persist between two months and a year after the email.

Keywords: Nudge; Cues; Anchoring; Goals; 401(k); Retirement savings (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 D14 D91 G02 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Small Cues Change Savings Choices (2012) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.08.010

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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