Savings, subgoals, and reference points
Decision makers often save money for a specific goal by forgoing discretionary consumption and instead putting the money toward the savings goal. We hypothesized that reference points can be exploited to enhance this type of saving. In two hypothetical scenario studies, subjects made judgments of their likelihood to forgo a small expenditure in order to put the money toward the savings goal. In Experiment 1, judgments were higher if the savings goal was presented as composed of weekly subgoals (e.g., save $60 per week to buy a $180 iPod). Experiment 2 replicated this finding and demonstrated that the subgoal manipulation increased judgments of likelihood to save money only when the money saved from the foregone consumption would allow the decision maker to meet the weekly subgoal exactly (not under or overshoot it). These results suggest a reference point mechanism and point to ways that behavioral decision research can be harnessed to improve economic behaviors.
Volume (Year): 8 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| |
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.:
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Tim Fry & Sandra Mihajilo & Roslyn Russell & Robert Brooks, 2008. "The Factors Influencing Saving in a Matched Savings Program: Goals, Knowledge of Payment Instruments, and Other Behavior," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 234-250, June.
- Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2009. "Reference-Dependent Consumption Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 909-36, June.
- Gourville, John T, 1998. " Pennies-a-Day: The Effect of Temporal Reframing on Transaction Evaluation," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 395-408, March.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Optimal Defaults," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 180-185, May.
- Shlomo Benartzi & Richard Thaler, 2007. "Heuristics and Biases in Retirement Savings Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 81-104, Summer.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:8:y:2013:i:1:p:16-24. 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: (Jonathan Baron)
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.