DP6386 Details Matter: The Impact of Presentation and Information on the Take-up of Financial Incentives for Retirement Saving

Author(s): Emmanuel Saez
Publication Date: July 2007
Keyword(s): Field experiment, Retirement Savings incentives
JEL(s): H31
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6386

We examine the effects of presentation and information on the take-up of financial subsidies for retirement saving in a large randomized experiment carried out with H&R Block. The subsidies raise take-up and contributions, with larger effects when the subsidy is characterized as a matching contribution rather than an equivalent-value tax credit (or cash back), and when filers are informed before the tax season about the subsidy. The results imply that both pure incentives and the presentation of those incentives affect consumer choices.