Nudging to Save: An Online Experiment on Savings Behaviour

Last registered on June 29, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Nudging to Save: An Online Experiment on Savings Behaviour
Initial registration date
June 28, 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
June 29, 2022, 1:54 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of Latvia

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This experimental study will provide causal evidence on the potential of nudges and financial incentives to effectively address present-bias preferences and lack of self-control that decrease savings and lead to immediate consumption and excessive borrowing.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Kroeger, Lea and Andris Saulitis. 2022. "Nudging to Save: An Online Experiment on Savings Behaviour ." AEA RCT Registry. June 29.
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Experimental Details


This study will offer a payment for taking part in the survey equivalent to €10. The payment for taking part in a survey such as this is usually transferred to the respondent’s account immediately after finishing the survey. This study will offer a choice to deposit all or part of the money in virtual savings account for six months to increase the payoff to a maximum of €12.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The variable of interest is the amount of earnings invested in the savings account (€0-€10). We will use OLS linear regression to estimate the causal effect of treatments on savings behaviour. The reference group will be the baseline offer.

We will use additional explanatory variables in the second model to gather more precise coefficients. These include socio-demographics and questions on savings behaviour from the current survey and the one carried out with the respondents in Fall 2021. We will use robust standard errors clustered at the country level. We will consider the treatment effect as a statistically significant effect with p<0.05 threshold.

We will examine two hypotheses:
• Social norm nudges lead to saving more
• PLS account is the most effective way to increase savings
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
In addition to the primary analysis, we will examine the country differences. We predict that the level of savings observed in this experiment will be higher in Estonia, as savings behaviour, in general, is more common in Estonia than in Latvia. We also expect that Estonians are more likely going to opt for a PLS account than Latvians, as financial incentives for increasing savings are effective among risky-behaviour individuals. The results from the survey of Fall 2021 show that Estonians are more willing to invest their earnings and prizes in investments and stocks, therefore showing a higher risk preference than Latvians.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The goal of this experimental study is to investigate the savings behaviour of individuals and potential ways to increase savings levels. The experiment uses a natural setting where individuals are being paid by a professional survey company. Individuals are asked to choose between immediate and delayed consumption of the money earned from taking part in a study. The treatments introduce a prize-linked savings account option and a nudge based on social norms.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization is done by the survey company. Randomization is carried out in blocks by gender, age, country and region.
Randomization Unit
Randomization is done at the individual level
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
450 individuals who have taken part in the survey (non-experimental) carried out in Fall 2021
Sample size: planned number of observations
450 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
150 respondents in each experimental group: 75 from each country included in the study (Latvia & Estonia)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials