Getting to the top of mind: How reminders increase saving

Dean Karlan, Margaret McConnell, Sendhil Mullainathan, Jonathan Zinman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


We provide evidence from field experiments with three different banks that reminder messages increase commitment attainment for clients who recently opened commitment savings accounts. Messages that mention both savings goals and financial incentives are particularly effective, whereas other content variations such as gain versus loss framing do not have significantly different effects. Nor do we find evidence that receiving additional late reminders has an additive effect. These empirical results do not map neatly into existing models, so we provide a simple model where limited attention to exceptional expenses can generate undersaving that is in turn mitigated by reminders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3393-3411
Number of pages19
JournalManagement Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2016


  • Behavior and behavioral decision making
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Microeconomic behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Getting to the top of mind: How reminders increase saving'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this