Getting People to Save "By Default" - Research by Poverty Actions

Published on Feb 19, 20172 min read32 views

Dan Ariely, famed Beahvioural Economist working with Lemonade, recently wrote on people's motivation to save when they're "automatically opted in". In his post he cited research (December, 2015) on "Mobile-izing Savings With Defaults in Afghanistan" done by Michael Callen, Joshua Blumenstock, Tarek Ghani. The three of them have done extensive research in collaboration with Roshan, Afghanistan's largest telecom network. Roshan's employees were A/B Tested to save part of their monthly savings. Half of them were automatically "opted in" to save 5-10% of their monthly salary and the rest were automatically opted out (0% of monthly savings). The research goes on to explain how the study was conducted, what were the limitations to the study and that Roshan's employee's might not be indicative of Afghanistan's poor. The findings from the study are astounding - 45% of people (automatically opted in) chose to continue with the monthly savings compared with those that were automatically opted out. That's significant, considering how behaviour can be modified/controlled by a simple hack - "Defaults"

Here's the link to the study.


Photo credits: Jan Chipchase.

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