Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Passive Decisions and Potent Defaults

Contents:

Author Info

  • James Choi
  • David Laibson
  • Brigitte Madrian
  • Andrew Metrick

Abstract

Default options have an enormous impact on household choices.' Defaults matter because opting out of a default is costly and these costs change over time, generating an option value of waiting. In addition, people have a tendency to procrastinate. We develop a theory of optimal defaults based on these considerations. We find that it is sometimes optimal to set extreme defaults, which are far away from the mean optimal savings rate. A default that is far away from a consumer's optimal savings rate may make that consumer better off since such a bad' default will lead procrastinating consumers to more quickly opt out of the default. We calibrate our model and use it to calculate optimal defaults for employees at four different companies. Our work suggests that optimal defaults are likely to be at one of three savings rates: the minimum savings rate (i.e., 0%), the match threshold (typically 5% or 6%), or the maximal savings rate.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9917.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9917.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Passive Decisions and Potent Defaults , James J. Choi, David Laibson, Brigitte C. Madrian, Andrew Metrick. in Analyses in the Economics of Aging , Wise. 2005
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9917

Note: EFG AG PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  2. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2002. "Defined Contribution Pensions: Plan Rules, Participant Decisions, and the Path of Least Resistance," JCPR Working Papers, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research 257, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  3. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers, University of California at Berkeley 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "THE POWER OF SUGGESTION: INERTIA IN 401(k) PARTICIPATION AND SAVINGS BEHAVIOR," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187, November.
  5. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2004. "For Better or for Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 81-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Richard Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save more tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving," Natural Field Experiments, The Field Experiments Website 00337, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  8. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Optimal Defaults," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 180-185, May.
  9. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2011. "Behavioral Economics Perspectives on Public Sector Pension Plans," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 16728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Philippe Fevrier & Sebastien Gay, 2005. "Informed Consent Versus Presumed Consent The Role of the Family in Organ Donations," HEW, EconWPA 0509007, EconWPA.
  3. Tehila Kogut & Momi Dahan, 2012. "Do you look forward to retirement? Motivational biases in pension decisions," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(3), pages 282-291, May.
  4. Engelhardt, Gary V. & Kumar, Anil, 2007. "Employer matching and 401(k) saving: Evidence from the health and retirement study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 91(10), pages 1920-1943, November.
  5. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2004. "Plan Design and 401(k) Savings Outcomes," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 10486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. B. Douglas Bernheim & Andrey Fradkin & Igor Popov, 2011. "The Welfare Economics of Default Options in 401(k) Plans," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 17587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Erin Todd Bronchetti & Thomas S. Dee & David B. Huffman & Ellen Magenheim, 2011. "When a Nudge Isn’t Enough: Defaults and Saving Among Low-Income Tax Filers," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 16887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9917. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.