Journal article

Persistence or reversal? The micro-effects of time-varying financial penalties

Duncan Mortimer, Anthony Harris, Jasper S Wijnands, Mark Stevenson

JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR & ORGANIZATION | ELSEVIER | Published : 2021

Abstract

Many financial incentives are time-varying due to the presence of time-limits, benefit ceilings and/or penalty thresholds. The potentially perverse effects of providing and then withdrawing financial incentives are now well-known. Whether or not these potentially perverse effects extend to other patterns of temporal variation remains unclear. The present study investigates the impact of temporal variation on the overall effectiveness of financial penalties for risky driving behaviours. Based on secondary analysis of data from a randomised field experiment, we find evidence for reductions in the target behaviour (relative to control) rather than habit persistence when penalties were temporari..

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