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Nudging with information: a randomized field experiment on reminders and feedback

  • Calzolari, Giacomo
  • Nardotto, Mattia

Can people be helped to stick to their plans with a little help from information? We provide a theoretical and empirical analysis of the effects of reminders and feedback on investment activities involving up-front costs and delayed benefits, such as education and healthy behavior. By means of a randomized field experiment, we show that simple weekly reminders induce users of a gym to substantially increase their levels of physical exercise. We show that limited attention helps explain our results, and we find evidence of mental accounting in users' response to the stimulus of reminders. These results show that virtuous behavior, such as following a healthy life style, can be promoted without the need for monetary incentives: providing incentives through information is both effective and cheap.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8571.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8571
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  1. Karlan, Dean & McConnell, Margaret & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Zinman, Jonathan, 2010. "Getting to the Top of Mind: How Reminders Increase Saving," Working Papers 82, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  2. Sandeep Baliga & Jeffrey C. Ely, 2011. "Mnemonomics: The Sunk Cost Fallacy as a Memory Kludge," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 35-67, November.
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