Economics at your fingertips  

Nudging debtors to pay their debt: Two randomized controlled trials

Felix Holzmeister, Jürgen Huber, Michael Kirchler and Rene Schwaiger

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2022, vol. 198, issue C, 535-551

Abstract: We conducted two large-scale, highly powered randomized controlled trials intended to encourage consumer debt repayments. In Study 1, we implemented five treatments varying the design of envelopes sent to debtors. We did not find any treatment effects on response and repayment rates compared to the control condition. In Study 2, we varied the letters’ contents in nine treatments, implementing factorial combinations of social norm and (non-)deterrence nudges, which were either framed emotively or non-emotively. We find that all nudges are ineffective compared to the control condition and even tend to induce backfiring effects compared to the agency’s original letter. The results of this study contrast with the findings of other studies, which indicate that comparable nudges are highly effective. Thus, our results are more consistent with the literature suggesting that the success of nudging interventions is limited to certain conditions.

Keywords: Nudging; Randomized controlled trial; Debt repayment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D91 G51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: Nudging Debtors to Pay Their Debt: Two Randomized Controlled Trials (2021) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2022.04.006

Access Statistics for this article

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

More articles in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2023-09-09
Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:198:y:2022:i:c:p:535-551