Effect of different interventions on attention to financial campaign

Last registered on December 03, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Effect of different interventions on attention to financial campaign
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008644
Initial registration date
November 30, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
December 03, 2021, 6:17 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Bank of Israel

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2017-08-02
End date
2017-09-12
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
We use proprietary data, survey data, and a field experiment to study the effect of campaigns to raise awareness about lost and forgotten retirement savings accounts. The campaigns were a centralized database to help individuals find inactive accounts, and a tax exemption to encourage individuals to close small inactive accounts and avoid new fees that would exhaust the savings. We show that after the campaigns, inactive retirement accounts still received limited attention. This was more pronounced for individuals with low socioeconomic status and low financial literacy. A controlled field experiment suggests that interventions using more personal interactions can increase attention.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Haran Rosen, Maya and Orly Sade. 2021. "Effect of different interventions on attention to financial campaign." AEA RCT Registry. December 03. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8644
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We conducted a field experiment that investigated the effectiveness of different communication methods on the awareness and actions of an underprivileged population in Israel: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women with low objective and subjective financial literacy. The women were recruited from a class at a college for Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women tend to marry young and undertake paid work to support their husbands, who commit to full time religious study. For our experiment, we used the launch of the “Money Mountain 2” campaign in 2017. Like the original Money Mountain campaign, Money Mountain 2 was launched to help the population find inactive accounts and had the same website as the original Money Mountain, but it extended this service from the retirement savings accounts to other types of bank accounts.
In the field experiment, the interventions we tested included personal and non-personal digital and non-digital interventions (Laudenbach et al. 2018): (1) no intervention (for the control group), (2) an e-mail explanation of the financial campaign, (3) an e-mail explanation together with a video explanation featuring a professional actor, (4) a face-to-face explanation of the financial regulation given by an employee of the Bank of Israel (the organization in charge of banking regulation), and (5) an e-mail explanation given to part of the control group after they had filled out a baseline survey. This last intervention enabled us to isolate the effect of an e-mail on a group that had had an earlier encounter with a Bank of Israel employee (who handed out a baseline survey). We ran a survey on each group following the interventions to investigate their effectiveness.
Intervention Start Date
2017-08-02
Intervention End Date
2017-09-12

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We find that the interventions that include a more personal interaction (including an e-mail with an accompanying video presentation), increased the awareness of the campaign by more than 100% relative to the control group. These interventions were also more successful in raising the percentage of subjects visiting the website (from 14% in the control group, to between 16% and 28% in the treatment groups). Our conjecture is that a more personal interaction helps lower observation costs or perceived transaction costs.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
All participants filled out at least one survey that was used to collect data on individuals’ characteristics and attention to the issue.
The interventions we examined in the experiment are as follows:
1. No intervention: Control group only filled out a baseline survey handed out by an employee of the Bank of Israel during class.
2. E-mail intervention: Received detailed information on the financial regulation in an e-mail and later filled out a survey in person during class.
3. E-mail–video intervention: Received detailed information on the financial regulation in an e-mail, along with a video presentation by a professional actor,90 and later filled out a survey in person during class.
4. Face-to-face intervention: Received a face-to-face explanation of the financial regulation from an employee of the Bank of Israel (the organization in charge of banking regulations) and later filled out a survey in person during class.
5. Double survey–e-mail intervention: Filled out a survey in person handed out by an employee of the bank of Israel during class, received detailed information on the financial regulation in an e-mail, and then filled out the same survey in person for the second time during class.
The e-mail provided (1) detailed instructions on how to access and use the website, (2) an explanation of the steps to take to close accounts if they find inactive funds (e.g., contacting the relevant bank), and (3) a direct link to the website. The video had an actor explain all this information using screenshots from the website. The face-to face explanation provided the same information.
The various interventions described above enable us to test the effectiveness of the mode of communication, in particular digital versus face-to-face. In addition, we examine the dimensional effect of adding a video presentation to an e-mail text, or of having the class meet and interact with a person before receiving more detailed information. The video presentation was 70 seconds (1:10 minutes) long.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The fact that we could enter and re-enter classes to make the interventions and collect the survey data enabled us to relay information in a supervised framework with the possibility of following up on the impact of the intervention on the individuals. Classes were randomly selected to be the control and intervention groups. Each class was part of a different academic program or curriculum such that students in one class were not taking courses with students in the other classes. To further minimize the risk of spillovers between treatment areas, the face-to-face intervention took place on a different campus in another city where there is another branch of the college. This branch is located in an area as central as the other campus but with lower socioeconomic attributes. Each intervention group was made up of two classes: one in education and one in a health profession, except for the face-to-face intervention group, which was made up of a single education class.
Randomization Unit
Randomization was done by class affiliation
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
5 classes
Sample size: planned number of observations
300 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Control group - 78 students, Email intervention 33 students, Email-video intervention 42 students, Face-to-face intervention 29 students, Survey-email intervention 43 students
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Study has received IRB approval. Details not available.
IRB Approval Date
Details not available
IRB Approval Number
Details not available

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials