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Appointments: A More Effective Commitment Device for Health Behaviors

Laura Derksen, Jason Kerwin (), Natalia Ordaz Reynoso and Olivier Sterck ()

No y8gh7, SocArXiv from Center for Open Science

Abstract: Health behaviors are plagued by self-control problems, and commitment devices are frequently proposed as a solution. We show that a simple alternative works even better: appointments. We randomly offer HIV testing appointments and financial commitment devices to high-risk men in Malawi. Appointments are much more effective than financial commitment devices, more than doubling testing rates. In contrast, most men who take up financial commitment devices lose their investments. Appointments address procrastination without the potential drawback of commitment failure, and also address limited memory problems. Appointments have the potential to increase demand for healthcare in the developing world.

Date: 2021-10-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
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Working Paper: Appointments: A More Effective Commitment Device for Health Behaviors (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Appointments: A More Effective Commitment Device for Health Behaviors (2021) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:osf:socarx:y8gh7

DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/y8gh7

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