This is Part 9 of the Nudge Database.
Part I|| Part II|| Part III|| Part IV|| Part V || Part VIPart VIIPart VIII@Makeuya
Nudge: The author conducted a natural
field experiment on conditional cooperation where cross-country skiers in two
Swedish ski resorts were faced with the decision of whether or not to contribute to ski track funding.
Ski-tracks in Sweden are public goods and it is not legal to charge for access
to such facilities.
results indicate that a higher share of the treatment group contribute
(25%) than the control (21%); that is to say that the share of subjects contributing was
significantly greater in the group receiving information about others’ behavior
than in the group that does not.
Tags: social proof / charitable
Source: Heldt (2005), 'Conditional cooperation in the field: Cross-country
skiers' behavior in Sweden',
Nudge: The authors ran a door-to-door
field experiment in Ohio to test the efficacy of an anchor on charitable donations. Of the 640 people asked for donations, 20% gave money.
Of these 128, those told of the $20 anchor donated significantly more than the
also found that adding the phrase “even a penny would help” more than doubled
the compliance rate from 15% in the control group to 34%.
Tags: charitable giving / anchoring
Source: Fraser, Hite & Sauer (1988),
Contributions in Solicitation Campaigns: The Use of Large and ,
Journal of Consumer Research
Nudge: The authors conducted a field
experiment looking at the effect of matching contribution offer in conjunction
with legitimization of paltry contributions (“even a penny would help”) in a
door-to-door (n=320) charitable solicitation context.
indicated that the matching funds offer, paired with legitimization of paltry
donations, increased both compliance rates and donation sizes and generated
greater revenues than either tactic used singly.
Tags: charitable giving
Source: Fraser & Hite (2006), ‘The
Effect of Matching Contribution Offers and Legitimization of Paltry ,
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Nudge: The authors ran a fund-raising
field experiment to see the effect of providing social information on contribution
rates (n=225). There were three conditions; (i) Donors who were told
information about another donor’s contribution which is above the donor’s previous (last year’s) contribution, (ii) donors
told information about another donor’s contribution below the donor’s previous one and (iii) donors told information
about another donor’s contribution which matched
their own previous one. The messages were in the form “We had another member,
they contributed $X. How much would you like to pledge today?”
find that respondents change their contribution in the direction of the social
information; increasing their contribution when the social information is above
their previous contribution, and decreasing their contribution when the social
information is below.
Tags: anchoring / social proof /
Source: Croson & Shang (2008), 'The impact of downward social
information on contribution decisions',
Nudge: This paper looks at the efficacy
of many different kinds of energy efficiency labelling (3 examples
included) on preferences for household appliances. Using a choice experiment
with many labeling treatments, the authors find that simple information on the
economic value of saving energy was the most important element guiding more
cost-efficient investments in appliance energy efficiency, with information on
physical energy use and carbon dioxide emissions having additional but lesser
authors note that the degree to which the current EnergyGuide label guided cost
efficient decisions depends importantly on the discount rate assumed appropriate
for the analysis. Using individual discount rates elicited in their study, they
find that the current EnergyGuide label came very close to guiding
cost-efficient decisions, on average. However, using a uniform five percent
rate for discounting—which was much lower than the average individual elicited rate—the
EnergyGuide label led to choices that result in a one-third undervaluation of
that not only nudged people with dispassionate monetary or physical
information, but also endorsed a model (Energy Star) or gave a suggestive grade
to a model (A-G), had a substantial impact in encouraging the choice of
appliances with higher energy efficiency.
Tags: energy efficiency / labelling
Source: Newell & Siikamäki (2013), 'Nudging Energy Efficiency
Behavior: The Role of Information Labels', Discussion
Nudge: This paper conducts two field
experiments to test inter-temporal choices in charitable giving by varying the timing
of commitment and payment. Monthly
donors were asked to increase their contributions (1) immediately, (2) in one
month, (3) in two months.
results are consistent between the two field experiments; firstly, mean increases
in donations are significantly higher when donors are asked to commit to future
donations. Secondly, follow-up data shows that the treatment effect is persistent,
making the strategy highly profitable to the charity. Finally, there is
evidence of heterogeneity in the response to different timelags, indicating
differences in inter-temporal choices among donors.
Tags: charitable donations /
Source: Breman (2011), ‘Give more tomorrow: two field
experiments on altruism and intertemporal choice’, Journal of
Nudge: This paper argues that the low volition and collective nature of
tax-funded benefits are primary causes of low satisfaction with tax payment.
studies suggest that providing people with the opportunity to allocate some of
their tax payment (here, 10%) across budgets provided by the billing party
introduces (i) volition into the payment process and (ii) increases the
perceived benefit associated with tax payment. As a result, taxpayers are
significantly more satisfied with paying taxes, despite the fact that their
payment amount remains completely unchanged.
addition to enhancing taxpayer satisfaction, an allocation program, if
well-implemented, could also provide some hope for correcting existing lack of
voice, address disconnects between spending and taxpayers’ priorities, and
increase civic engagement in general.
Tags: tax / volition of payment
Source: Lamberton (2013), 'A Spoonful of Choice: How
Allocation Increases Satisfaction with Tax Payments', Journal
of Public Policy and Marketing
Nudge: The authors tested differ letter framings
on the tax reported behaviour of over 7,300 sole proprietors in the U.K. The different treatments were offers
of assistance with tax forms, rational argument and threats of audit. By and
large the treatments proved effective at encouraging taxpayers to declare more,
with the threat messages being the most effective.
Tags: framing / tax
Source: Hasseldine et al. (2007) ‘Persuasive
Communications: Tax Compliance Enforcement Strategies for Sole , Contemporary Accounting Research
field experiment in Minnesota in 1994 tested the efficacy of normative messages in letters to taxpayers. There were 3 conditions in
total; 2 treatments and a control, each consisting of 20,000 people.
first treatment group received the standard tax letter plus a rational appeal
for paying their taxes (“your taxes fund local services such as X, Y, Z”). The
second treatment received the standard letter plus a social normative message
(“People who file tax reports report correctly and pay voluntarily 93% of the
income taxes they owe. Although some taxpayers owe money because of minor
errors, a small number of taxpayers who cheat owe the bulk of unpaid taxes”).
results found no significant effect of the normative messages on tax
Tags: framing / tax / normative
et al. (2001) ‘Do Normative
Appeals Affect Tax Compliance? Evidence
from a , National Tax Journal
Nudge: The authors used financial
incentives to encourage healthy lifestyles in a workplace (n=406) in Northern
Ireland over a 12 week period, with a follow-up check after 6 months. The
participants were put either into a Incentive group (Treatment, n=199) or
No-incentive (Control, n=207). Those in the Incentive group had to monitor
their physical activity levels and used a loyalty card to collect points and
earn rewards. The control group used their loyalty cards to monitor their
activity level but could not earn points or rewards.
results found no significant difference between the groups in terms of minutes
of physical activity recorded either after 12 weeks or after 6 months.
Tags: physical activity / financial
Source: Hunter et al. (2013) ‘Physical activity loyalty cards for behavior change:
a quasi-experimental study’, American
Journal of Preventative Medicine