Promoting precautionary saving decisions - experimental evidence from adolescents in Austria

Last registered on May 16, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Promoting precautionary saving decisions - experimental evidence from adolescents in Austria
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009447
Initial registration date
May 15, 2022

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
May 16, 2022, 5:20 PM EDT

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

Locations

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Vienna University of Economics and Business

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-05-15
End date
2023-02-28
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
In this study, we employ a lab-in-the-field experiment with about 720 adolescents from about 36 classes in Austria. We simulate saving decisions in a controlled lab environment in classrooms that involves multiple decisions over time with a potential economic shock at the end. The idea is to simulate a decision under risk in which people with higher buffer stock are better capable to withstand a shock. We study several aspects of saving decisions. First, we investigate individual-level factors that may influence the decision to save or not to save such as risk preferences, loss aversion, cognitive reflection/impulsivity, and numeracy (financial literacy). Second, we study the effectiveness of two soft commitment devices, i.e., commitment devices that neither induce monetary costs nor do they restrict actions. We chose commitment devices that have not been studied, yet, to alter saving decisions and that would be relatively easy to teach and apply in real life. This is motivational goal bracketing and episodic future thinking. The study has been approved by the ethical committee of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Grosch, Kerstin, Martin G. Kocher and Anna Walter. 2022. "Promoting precautionary saving decisions - experimental evidence from adolescents in Austria." AEA RCT Registry. May 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9447
Sponsors & Partners

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We employ two treatment arms which are episodic future thinking (EFT) and motivational goal bracketing.
In the latter treatment, we examine the effect of bracketing choices. In the first intervention week, all participants make a weekly decision plan for the subsequent 3 weeks. Participants in the ``narrow bracketing'' treatment will have a reminder for their planned weekly saving amounts separately in their individual folder which corresponds to three amounts. In contrast, children in the ``broad bracketing'' treatment will have a reminder for their planned total savings in their folder which corresponds to one single amount. In the control condition, there is no reminder. The EFT intervention aims at fostering adolescents' saving efforts by making the future more attractive. To this end, subjects in the treatment group pre-experience a personal future event in their imagination. The positive emotions associated with the future event potentially renders the future more attractive. In the control condition, participants think of a routine activity instead of a future event.
Intervention Start Date
2022-05-16
Intervention End Date
2022-06-17

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
total savings
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
the sum of savings across the three saving decisions

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
patience (incentivized)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
multiple price list task

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
see attachment
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
randomization was done by a computer for the EFT treatment and the control condition; for the bracketing conditions, we randomize within classes by participant ID number.
Randomization Unit
For the EFT treatment, the randomization unit is at the school level. For the bracketing treatments, it is the class level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
We aim at 36 classes across nine schools in the sample.
Sample size: planned number of observations
720 pupils
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We expect about equal numbers in the bracketing conditions, i.e., 240 participants in each condition. For the EFT treatment, we have 17 classes in the control and 21 classes in the treatment condition.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
see attachment
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Committee on Issues concerning Ethics and Research Integrity
IRB Approval Date
2020-07-27
IRB Approval Number
007_2020
Analysis Plan

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information