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Put Your Money Where Your Butt Is: A Commitment Contract for Smoking Cessation

  • Xavier Gin�
  • Dean Karlan
  • Jonathan Zinman

We designed and tested a voluntary commitment product to help smokers quit smoking. The product (CARES) offered smokers a savings account in which they deposit funds for six months, after which they take a urine test for nicotine and cotinine. If they pass, their money is returned; otherwise, their money is forfeited to charity. Of smokers offered CARES, 11 percent took up, and smokers randomly offered CARES were 3 percentage points more likely to pass the 6-month test than the control group. More importantly, this effect persisted in surprise tests at 12 months, indicating that CARES produced lasting smoking cessation. (JEL D12, I12, O15)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.2.4.213
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 213-35

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:213-35
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.2.4.213
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
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  1. Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S164-S187, February.
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  10. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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