NBER

William L. Skimmyhorn

Mason School of Business
The College of William & Mary
101 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23187

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: College of William and Mary

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2020How Much to Save? Decision Costs and Retirement Plan Participation
with Jacob Goldin, Tatiana Homonoff, Richard W. Patterson: w27575
Deciding how much to save for retirement can be complicated. Drawing on a field experiment conducted with the Department of Defense, we study whether such complexity depresses participation in an employer-sponsored retirement saving plan. We find that simplifying one dimension of the enrollment decision, by highlighting a potential rate at which non-participants might contribute, increases participation in the plan. Similar communications that did not include a highlighted rate yield smaller effects. The results highlight how reducing complexity on the intensive margin of a decision (how much to contribute) can affect extensive margin behavior (whether to contribute at all) in a setting of policy interest.
May 2019Borrowing to Save? The Impact of Automatic Enrollment on Debt
with John Beshears, James J. Choi, David Laibson, Brigitte C. Madrian: w25876
Does automatic enrollment into a retirement plan increase borrowing outside the plan? We study a natural experiment created when the U.S. Army began automatically enrolling newly hired civilian employees into the Thrift Savings Plan. Four years after hire, automatic enrollment causes no significant change in credit scores (point estimate 0.001 standard deviations) or debt balances excluding auto loans and first mortgages (point estimate -0.6% of annual salary). We also find no significant increase in auto loan and first mortgage balances in our main regression specification, although the estimated increases in these categories are economically and statistically significant in alternative specifications.
September 2012Financial Literacy, Financial Education and Economic Outcomes
with Justine S. Hastings, Brigitte C. Madrian: w18412
In this article we review the literature on financial literacy, financial education, and consumer financial outcomes. We consider how financial literacy is measured in the current literature, and examine how well the existing literature addresses whether financial education improves financial literacy or personal financial outcomes. We discuss the extent to which a competitive market provides incentives for firms to educate consumers or offer products that facilitate informed choice. We review the literature on alternative policies to improve financial outcomes, and compare the evidence to evidence on the efficacy and cost of financial education. Finally, we discuss directions for future research.

Published: Justine S. Hastings & Brigitte C. Madrian & William L. Skimmyhorn, 2013. "Financial Literacy, Financial Education, and Economic Outcomes," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 347-373, 05. citation courtesy of

National Bureau of Economic Research
1050 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-868-3900
info@nber.org

Twitter RSS

View Full Site: One timeAlways