Innovations for Poverty Action

To study the behavioral welfare economics of potential interventions in four kinds of critical consumer decisions

  • Amount $660,365
  • City New Haven, CT
  • Investigator Hunt Allcott
  • Year 2017
  • Program Economics
  • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance

This grant funds a project by Hunt Allcott, Dmitry Taubinsky, and Jonathan Zinman to four common kinds of consumer decisions and then use those models to analyze the welfare implications of potential policy interventions aimed at altering these decisions. They plan to examine supposed “mistakes” people make making decisions about sugar-sweetened beverages, credit card borrowing, checking account overdrafts, and college enrollment. In each context, the research team will start by formulating a theoretical model that can accommodate a range of consumer behaviors. Next, they will perform empirical analyses using experimental, quasi-experimental, and survey designs to identify biases and test predictions. Then they will analyze the empirical welfare implications various regulatory or other interventions aimed at altering consumer choices in these areas. In addition to covering data collection costs, grant funds will support a research assistants and a single project manager for all four studies.

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