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Nudges at the Dentist

  • Steffen Altmann

    ()

    (Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))

  • Christian Traxler

    ()

    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn and University of Marburg, Department of Economics)

We implement a randomized field experiment to study the impact of reminders on dental health prevention. Patients who are due for a check-up receive no reminder, a neutral reminder postcard, or reminders including additional information on the benefits of prevention. Our results document a strong impact of reminders. Within one month after receiving a reminder, the fraction of patients who make a check-up appointment more than doubles. The effect declines slightly over time, but remains economically and statistically significant. Including additional information in the reminders does not increase response rates. In fact, the neutral reminder has the strongest impact for the overall population as well as for important subgroups of patients. Finally, we document that being exposed to reminders repeatedly does neither strengthen nor weaken their effectiveness.

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File URL: http://www.coll.mpg.de/pdf_dat/2012_15online.pdf
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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2012_15.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2012_15
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