Nudges: Do reminders influence behavior?

A number of studies have long been studied to analyze the effects of reminders in the context of different relevant settings such as economic decisions making process, and rule of compliance, and also their potential influence on desirable behavioral change. In this regards, one could questions, do reminders influence behavior? , if so ,to what extent could this interventions implemented in public policies and private institutions, what kinds(framings) and methods of reminders could be used as a Nudges to produce a desirable outcomes,  and How effective they are in terms of cost and time using such instruments ?.

For detail theoretical background about the relation between reminders, behavior, and their usage as a nudge to achieve a needed outcome, you could read the following literature to get a comprehensive review: (see Rabin 1999 and DellaVigna 2009) explains, a vast body of evidence documents that, limitations in self-control, memory, and attention may lead people to act against their long-run self-interest. These findings have spurred the interest in how subtle changes in choice architectures can improve ‘Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness’ (Thaler and Sunstein 2008). Choice-preserving changes in seemingly minor institutional details – nudges – hold the promise to help some people avoid making mistakes without distorting choices of others. Examples of nudges that have been shown to strongly affect decisions include the specification of default options, information disclosure policies, or the framing and labeling of policy interventions (e.g., Johnson and Goldstein 2003, Wisdom et al. 2010, Abeler and Marklein 2010)1.

Basically, when we say Reminders, it is thing that causes someone to remember something. It could be using different mode of communication, framing, and intervals via posts, emails, phones, computers et.For example, reminders for banks and micro finance customers (lenders) to increase loan repayments, for patients to appointment schedules in order to increase health care services and preventions, for households to deal with over expenditure and savings under, for public library customers to decrease late returns etc. Many field experimental studies finds, interventions using Reminders has a significant potential to achieve a desirable outcomes in a relevant setting as mentioned in the above examples. For instance,( Cadena and Schoar 2011) finds  in their field experiments study on customers of 1121 microfinance lenders in Ugand,Reminders for participant stating financial incentives for repayments of loan has significantly increase timely repayments and decrease average delay in repayments for  the treatment groups against control. The study on 873 micro entrepreneurs in Chile on their deposit money saving account  using reminders on their own saving goals and other goals’ achievements shows, a Signiant increase on the overall level and numbers of deposit during the intervention periods.( Kast et al. 2012).

Last but not least, the impact of reminders on desirable behavioral change are common intervention methods, and have long been studied in the context of health decisions. In my essay, I further review experimental studies on impacts of reminders on different health care services.Beside,I will analyses a case study on  field experimental study on dental  health care service. In this case study, I try to answer my essay questions. And also one can learn more how would the field experimental design could developed, interms of usage of methodologies, analyzing and interpretation of findings,

References:

Abeler, J. and F. Marklein (2010): “Fungibility, Labels, and Comsumption,” CeDEx Discussion Paper No. 2010-13, University of Nottingham.

1Altmann, S. & Traxler, C. (2014), ‘Nudges at the dentist’, European Economic Review 72(0), 19 – 38.

Cadena, X. and A. Schoar (2011): “Remembering to Pay? Reminders vs. Financial Incentives for Loan Payments,” NBER Working Paper No. 17020.

Johnson, E. J. and D. Goldstein (2003): “Do Defaults Save Lives?” Science, 302,1338–1339.

Kast, F., S. Meier, and D. Pomeranz (2012): “Under-Savers Anonymous: Evidence on Self-Help Groups and Peer Pressure as a Savings Commitment Device,” IZA DiscussionPaper No. 6311.

Thaler, R. and C. Sunstein (2008): Nudge – Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Rabin, M. (1999): “Psychology and Economics,” Journal of Economic Literature, 36, 11–46. DellaVigna, S. (2009): “Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field,” Journal of Economic Literature, 47, 315–372.

Wisdom, J., J. S. Downs, and G. Loewenstein (2010): “Promoting Healthy Choices: Information versus Convenience,” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2, 164–178.30

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