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Experimental and non-experimental evidence on limited attention and present bias at the gym

Report
Authors Paul Muller
Wolfgang Habla
Publisher University of Gothenburg
Place of publication Gothenburg
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economics, Environmental Economics Unit
Department of Economics
Language en
Links hdl.handle.net/2077/57880
Keywords health behaviour, randomized experiment, reminders, nudging, habit formation, limited attention, time inconsistency
Subject categories Economics

Abstract

We show that limited attention and present bias contribute to low levels of exercise. First, in a large randomized experiment, we find that email reminders increase gym visits by 13 % and that they benefit nearly all types of individuals. Limited attention can explain these effects. Second, using a novel dataset, we find that many bookings for gym classes are canceled, and that bookings are made even for classes that never have a waiting list. Comparing these findings to the predictions of a dynamic discrete choice model, we conclude that many gym members use bookings to commit themselves to future attendance.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012
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