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Incentives and Information as Driving Forces of Default Effects

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  • Altmann, Steffen
  • Falk, Armin
  • Grunewald, Andreas

Abstract

The behavioral relevance of non-binding defaults is well established. While most research has focused on decision makers’ responses to a given default, we argue that this individual decision making perspective is incomplete. Instead, a comprehensive understanding of default effects requires to take account of the strategic interaction between default setters and decision makers. We analyze theoretically and empirically which defaults emerge in such interactions, and under which conditions defaults are behaviorally most relevant. Our analysis demonstrates that the alignment of interests between default setters and decision makers, as well as their relative level of information are key drivers of default effects. In particular, default effects are more pronounced if the interests of the default setter and decision makers are more closely aligned. Moreover, decision makers are more likely to follow default options the less they are privately informed about the relevant decision environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Altmann, Steffen & Falk, Armin & Grunewald, Andreas, 2015. "Incentives and Information as Driving Forces of Default Effects," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 516, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:516
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Default Options; Behavioral Economics; Strategic Communication; Laboratory Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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