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Match Rates and Savings: Evidence from Individual Development Accounts

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  • Mark Schreiner

    (Washington University in St. Louis)

Abstract

How do people respond to matched-savings incentives? Studies of 401(k) plans find that matching increases participation but that higher match rates do not increase--and may decrease--the level of savings. This paper analyzes saving by low-income people in Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), a new savings incentive that matches withdrawals if used for home purchase, post-secondary education, or self-employment. The model controls for several sources of bias common in estimates of match-rate effects: unobserved heterogeneity among firms and among participants, censoring of savings at the match cap, and an inverse relationship between match rates and match caps. In IDAs, higher match rates are associated with an increased probability of continued participation but also with a decreased level of savings.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Schreiner, 2001. "Match Rates and Savings: Evidence from Individual Development Accounts," Microeconomics 0108003, EconWPA, revised 27 Dec 2001.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0108003
    Note: Type of Document - Adobe Acrobat 3.0; prepared on Windows 98; to print on Adobe Acrobat 3.0; pages: 65 ; figures: Included in pdf file
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. William E. Even & David A. Macpherson, 2004. "Determinants and Effects of Employer Matching Contributions in 401(k) Plans," Labor and Demography 0405001, EconWPA.
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    3. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan S. Skinner, 1996. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 53540.
    4. Bassett, William F. & Fleming, Michael J. & Rodrigues, Anthony P., 1998. "How Workers Use 401(K) Plans: The Participation, Contribution, and Withdrawal Decisions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(2), pages 263-289, June.
    5. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan S. Skinner, 1996. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 73-90, Fall.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Savings incentives; asset accumulation; match rates; retirement; income effect; substitution effect;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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