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Do Lottery Payments Induce Savings Behavior: Evidence from the Lab

  • Emel Filiz-Ozbay
  • Jonathan Guryan
  • Kyle Hyndman
  • Melissa Schettini Kearney
  • Erkut Y. Ozbay

This paper presents the results of a laboratory experiment designed to investigate whether the option of a Prize Linked Savings (PLS) product alters the likelihood that subjects choose to delay payment. By comparing PLS and standard savings products in a controlled way, we find strong evidence that a PLS payment option leads to greater rates of payment deferral than does a straightforward interest payment option of the same expected value. The appeal of the PLS option is strongest among men, self-reported lottery players, and subjects with low bank account balances. We use the results of our experiment to structurally estimate the parameters of the decision problem governing time preference, risk aversion, and probability weighting. We employ the parameter estimates in a series of policy simulations that compare the relative effectiveness of PLS products as compared to standard savings products.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19130.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19130
Note: LE PE
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  1. Drazen Prelec, 1998. "The Probability Weighting Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 497-528, May.
  2. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang, 2008. "Stocks as Lotteries: The Implications of Probability Weighting for Security Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2066-2100, December.
  3. Conlisk, John, 1993. " The Utility of Gambling," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 255-75, June.
  4. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2012. "Estimating Time Preferences from Convex Budgets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3333-56, December.
  5. Erik Snowberg & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Explaining the Favorite-Long Shot Bias: Is it Risk-Love or Misperceptions?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 723-746, 08.
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  7. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  8. Martin Ahlbrecht & Martin Weber, 1997. "Preference for gradual resolution of uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 167-185, September.
  9. Melissa Schettini Kearney & Peter Tufano & Jonathan Guryan & Erik Hurst, 2010. "Making Savers Winners: An Overview of Prize-Linked Savings Products," NBER Working Papers 16433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  11. Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S164-S187, February.
  12. Justin Sydnor, 2010. "(Over)insuring Modest Risks," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 177-99, October.
  13. Henry Stott, 2006. "Cumulative prospect theory's functional menagerie," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 101-130, March.
  14. Melissa Schettini Kearney, 2002. "State Lotteries and Consumer Behavior," NBER Working Papers 9330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Soren Leth-Petersen & Torben Nielsen & Tore Olsen, 2012. "Active vs. Passive Decisions and Crowdout in Retirement Savings Accounts: Evidence from Denmark," NBER Working Papers 18565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Adrian Bruhin & Helga Fehr-Duda & Thomas Epper, 2007. "Risk and Rationality: Uncovering Heterogeneity in Probability Distortion," SOI - Working Papers 0705, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2007.
  17. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "THE POWER OF SUGGESTION: INERTIA IN 401(k) PARTICIPATION AND SAVINGS BEHAVIOR," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187, November.
  18. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  19. Jonathan Guryan & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Gambling at Lucky Stores: Empirical Evidence from State Lottery Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 458-73, March.
  20. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  21. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
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