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Small Cues Change Savings Choices

James Choi, Emily Haisley, Jennifer Kurkoski and Cade Massey

No 17843, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: In randomized field experiments, we embedded one- to two-sentence anchoring, goal-setting, or savings threshold cues in emails to employees about their 401(k) savings plan. We find that anchors increase or decrease 401(k) contribution rates by up to 1.9% of income. A high savings goal example raises contribution rates by up to 2.2% of income. Highlighting a higher savings threshold in the match incentive structure raises contributions by up to 1.5% of income relative to highlighting the lower threshold. Highlighting the maximum possible contribution rate raises contribution rates by up to 2.9% of income among low savers.

JEL-codes: D03 D14 D91 G02 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
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Published as Choi, James J. & Haisley, Emily & Kurkoski, Jennifer & Massey, Cade, 2017. "Small cues change savings choices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 378-395.

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