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Experimental and non-experimental evidence on limited attention and present bias at the gym

Paul Muller () and Wolfgang Habla ()

No 18-041, ZEW Discussion Papers from ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Abstract: We show that limited attention and present bias contribute to low levels of exercise. First, in a large randomized experiment, we find that email reminders increase gym visits by 13 % and that they benefit nearly all types of individuals. Limited attention can explain these effects. Second, using a novel dataset, we find that many bookings for gym classes are canceled, and that bookings are made even for classes that never have a waiting list. Comparing these findings to the predictions of a dynamic discrete choice model, we conclude that many gym members use bookings to commit themselves to future attendance.

Keywords: health behavior; randomized experiment; reminders; nudging; habit formation; limited attention; time inconsistency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D91 I12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-dcm, nep-exp and nep-hea
Date: 2018
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:zewdip:18041

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