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Deadlines, Procrastination, and Forgetting in Charitable Tasks: A Field Experiment

Stephen Knowles (), Maroš Servátka, Trudy Sullivan and Murat Genc

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: We conduct a field experiment to test theoretical predictions regarding the effect of deadline length on task completion. We place our test in a charitable task setting in which participants are invited to complete an online survey, with a donation going to charity if they do so. Participants are given either one week, one month or no deadline by which to respond. Completions are lowest for the one month deadline and highest when no deadline is specified. Our results point out that a short deadline, and not specifying a deadline, signals urgency. By contrast, providing a longer (one month) deadline gives people permission to procrastinate, with people ultimately forgetting to complete the task.

Keywords: charitable tasks; charitable giving; deadline; procrastination; forgetting; imperfect memory; inattention; field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-12-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe and nep-exp
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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