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Category Archives: Decision Making & Behavior Economics

When Survey Respondents Don’t Pay Attention

We used a trap question to study if respondents were paying attention in a survey. We found that not paying attention was related to personality traits and lower levels of survey effort.

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The Price of Votes: Exploring the Effect of Ad Spending in the Last Presidential Campaign

Can ad spending change voter’s choice for President? A new approach uses administrative data and the Understanding America Study to evaluate the ability of campaign advertisements to persuade voters. (more…)

How Pre-Ordering Groceries can Help You Stick to your New Year’s Resolution

We conducted a research study with a local grocery store to learn about customer food choices. We found that pre-ordering foods in advance increased the healthfulness of food purchased.

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A Little Push Can Make a Big Difference: Temporary Savings Promotions Help the Poor Earn More in the Long Run

Can short-term incentives to save help microentrepreneurs lift themselves out of poverty? Results from a randomized controlled trial in Kenya say yes. (more…)

The Science of Giving: Using Behavioral Research to Understand and Expand Charitable Donations

This blogpost discusses the results presented and questions raised at this year’s Science of Philanthropy Innovations (SPI) Conference at the University of Chicago.

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What are the Effects of Recipient Contribution Requirements on Public Support for Social Programs?

This post discusses whether beneficiary contributions affect public support for social protection and charitable initiatives.

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Do You Promise? Using Soft-Commitments to Improve Savings Behavior

How can we help Americans improve their savings?  This blog post presents findings from a study suggesting that soft-commitment mechanisms that leverage intrinsic motivation can improve savings outcomes.

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Education Improves Some Aspects Of Health But May Worsen Others

We study how secondary education affects different dimensions of health in middle age. A policy change in England, Wales, and Scotland that increased the minimum school-leaving age from 15 to 16 years old improved health by reducing body fat and lung conditions, but it also increased blood pressure. (more…)

Encouraging Healthy Eating Among Children: It Turns Out We Just Have to Ask.

An RCT found that verbal prompts in the school lunch-line are an effective way to improve child food choice and consumption. Schools, teachers and cafeteria workers could adopt such strategies to improve children’s food choice and health.

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Could “Shy” Trump Voters’ Discomfort With Disclosing Candidate Choice Have Skewed Telephone Polls? Evidence from the USC Election Poll

We analysed data from the USC Dornsife/ LA Time 2016 Election Daybreak Poll on respondents’ comfort levels with disclosing presidential candidate choice to friends, family, acquaintances, and pollsters. Results are consistent with a “shy” or “hidden” voter effect. (more…)

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