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A Social Norm Nudge to Save More: A Field Experiment at a Retail Bank

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Dur

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Dimitry Fleming

    (ING Netherlands)

  • Marten van Garderen

    (ING Netherlands)

  • Max van Lent

    (Leiden University)

Abstract

A large fraction of households have very little savings buffer and are therefore vulnerable to financial shocks. We examine whether a social norm nudge can stimulate such households to save more by running a small-scale survey experiment and a large-scale field experiment at a retail bank in the Netherlands. The survey experiment shows that a social norm nudge increases intended savings. In line with this, we find in our field experiment that households who are exposed to the social norm nudge click more often on a link to a personal webpage where they can start or adjust an automatic savings plan. However, analyzing detailed bank data, we find no treatment effect on actual savings, neither in the short run nor in the long run. Our null findings are quite precisely estimated.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Dur & Dimitry Fleming & Marten van Garderen & Max van Lent, 2019. "A Social Norm Nudge to Save More: A Field Experiment at a Retail Bank," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-063/I, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20190063
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    Cited by:

    1. Silvia Castro & Clarissa Mang, 2023. "Breaking the Silence: Group Discussions, and the Adoption of Welfare-Improving Technologies," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 474, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    2. Mang, Clarissa & Castro, Silvia, 2023. "Breaking the Silence," VfS Annual Conference 2023 (Regensburg): Growth and the "sociale Frage" 277639, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Gerlinde Fellner-Röhling & Sabine Kröger & Erika Seki, 2021. "Information Regime Changes and Path Dependence - An Experimental Analysis of Public Goods Contributions in Heterogeneous Groups," CIRANO Working Papers 2021s-13, CIRANO.
    4. Linek, Maximilian & Traxler, Christian, 2021. "Framing and social information nudges at Wikipedia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 1269-1279.
    5. Andrieş, Alin Marius & Walker, Sarah, 2023. "When the message hurts: The unintended impacts of nudges on saving," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 439-456.
    6. Goldin, Jacob & Homonoff, Tatiana & Patterson, Richard & Skimmyhorn, William, 2020. "How much to save? Decision costs and retirement plan participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    7. James Alm & Lilith Burgstaller & Arrita Domi & Amanda März & Matthias Kasper, 2023. "Nudges, Boosts, and Sludge: Using New Behavioral Approaches to Improve Tax Compliance," Economies, MDPI, vol. 11(9), pages 1-22, September.
    8. Minou Ghaffari & Maxime Kaniewicz & Stephan Stricker, 2021. "Personalized Communication Strategies: Towards A New Debtor Typology Framework," Papers 2106.01952, arXiv.org.
    9. Giorgia Barboni & Juan Camilo Cárdenas & Nicolás de Roux, 2022. "Behavioral Messages and Debt Repayment," Documentos CEDE 20257, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Economía, CEDE.
    10. Timmons, Shane & Robertson, Deirdre & Lunn, Pete, 2022. "Combining nudges and boosts to increase precautionary saving: A large-scale field experiment," Papers WP722, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    11. Houman Hashemzadeh & Alireza Karbasi & Hosein Mohammadi & Ali Firoozzare & Flavio Boccia, 2022. "Investigating the Effect of Nudges on Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Genetically Modified Corn Oil," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(19), pages 1-18, October.
    12. Córdova, Angélica & Imas, Alex & Schwartz, Daniel, 2021. "Are non-contingent incentives more effective in motivating new behavior? Evidence from the field," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 602-615.
    13. Antonia Grohmann & Melanie Koch, 2022. "The Effect of Social Comparison on Debt Taking: Experimental Evidence," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1996, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. Diane Pelly & Orla Doyle, 2022. "Nudging in the workplace: increasing participation in employee EDI wellness events," Working Papers 202208, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    household savings; field experiment; nudges; social norms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G40 - Financial Economics - - Behavioral Finance - - - General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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