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The Timing of Choice-Enhancing Policies

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  • Takeshi Murooka
  • Marco A. Schwarz

Abstract

Recent studies investigate policies motivating consumers to make an active choice as a way to protect unsophisticated consumers. We analyse the optimal timing of such choice-enhancing policies when a firm can strategically react to them. In our model, a firm provides an automatic enrolment or renewal to consumers. We show that a conventional choice-enhancing policy, which decreases consumers’ switching costs when they are initially enroled, can be detrimental to consumer and social welfare. By contrast, an alternative policy that decreases consumers’ switching costs when the firm charges a higher price for the service increases consumer and social welfare more robustly.

Suggested Citation

  • Takeshi Murooka & Marco A. Schwarz, 2016. "The Timing of Choice-Enhancing Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 5983, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5983
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    Cited by:

    1. Johannes Johnen, 2019. "Automatic‐renewal contracts with heterogeneous consumer inertia," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 765-786, November.
    2. Murooka, Takeshi & Schwarz, Marco A., 2019. "Consumer exploitation and notice periods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 89-92.
    3. Ericson, Keith M. Marzilli, 2020. "When consumers do not make an active decision: Dynamic default rules and their equilibrium effects," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 369-385.
    4. Alessandro Ispano & Peter Schwardmann, 2018. "Competition over Cursed Consumers," CESifo Working Paper Series 7046, CESifo.
    5. Murooka, Takeshi & Schwarz, Marco A., 2018. "The timing of choice-enhancing policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 27-40.
    6. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Gravert, Christina, 2018. "The hidden costs of nudging: Experimental evidence from reminders in fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 15-26.
    7. Else Gry Bro Christensen & Takeshi Murooka, 2020. "Procrastination and Learning about Self-Control," OSIPP Discussion Paper 20E001, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    active choice; procrastination; present bias; automatic enrolment; automatic renewal; consumer naivete;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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