Child Benefit Support and Method of Payment: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Belgium
We present evidence from a randomized Öeld experiment explictly designed to shed light on the role of standard information, goal framed information, and decision task complexity in individualsí choice of payment method. The experiment encouraged 19,707 Clients of the Belgian National O¢ ce for Family BeneÖts to change from benefit payment by check to payment via direct transfer via a one-time mailing. The direct mailings multiplied the switching rate of these treated individuals (relative to the controls) by more than four times, showing that simply providing information can result in a very large behavioural change. Interestingly, foreigners were much more reponsive to the direct mailings than Belgians. Furthermore, simple, lowcost supplements to the standard information can amplify the magnitude of the behavioural responses. Adding both a flyer and a specific plan supplement to the standard letter not only yielded the largest effects on individuals' method of payment choice, but also appeared to speed up the decision to switch. We provide a simple, behavioural economics' interpretation to account for our results.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.centreforsocialpolicy.eu|
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Dynarski, Susan M. & Scott–Clayton, Judith E., 2006.
"The Cost of Complexity in Federal Student Aid: Lessons from Optimal Tax Theory and Behavioral Economics,"
National Tax Journal,
National Tax Association, vol. 59(2), pages 319-56, June.
- Dynarski, Susan & Scott-Clayton, Judith, 2006. "The Cost of Complexity in Federal Student Aid: Lessons from Optimal Tax Theory and Behavioral Economics," Working Paper Series rwp06-013, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Susan M. Dynarski & Judith E. Scott-Clayton, 2006. "The Cost of Complexity in Federal Student Aid: Lessons from Optimal Tax Theory and Behavioral Economics," NBER Working Papers 12227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004.
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
- Anna Aizer, 2003. "Low Take-Up in Medicaid: Does Outreach Matter and for Whom?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 238-241, May.
- Anna Aizer, 2007.
"Public Health Insurance, Program Take-Up, and Child Health,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 400-415, August.
- Anna Aizer, 2006. "Public Health Insurance, Program Take-Up, and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 12105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hdl:wpaper:0802. 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: (Wim Van Lancker)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.