Sunday, November 15, 2009

World Bank Working Paper: Commitment Devices for Smoking Cessation

Put your money where your butt is : a commitment contract for smoking cessation

Gine, Xavier
Karlan, Dean
Zinman, Jonathan


The authors designed and tested a voluntary commitment product to help smokers quit smoking. The product (CARES) offered smokers a savings account in which they deposit funds for six months, after which they take a urine test for nicotine and cotinine. If they pass, their money is returned; otherwise, their money is forfeited to charity. Eleven percent of smokers offered CARES tookup, and smokers randomly offered CARES were 3 percentage points more likely to pass the 6-month test than the control group. More importantly, this effect persisted in surprise tests at 12 months, indicating that CARES produced lasting smoking cessation.

1 comment:

Kevin Denny said...

Such is the animosity towards bankers these days, they might think twice about asking for urine tests since they might be provided all too willingly.