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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 2 No. 4 (October 2010)

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Put Your Money Where Your Butt Is: A Commitment Contract for Smoking Cessation

Article Citation

Giné, Xavier, Dean Karlan, and Jonathan Zinman. 2010. "Put Your Money Where Your Butt Is: A Commitment Contract for Smoking Cessation." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2(4): 213-35.

DOI: 10.1257/app.2.4.213

Abstract

We designed and tested a voluntary commitment product to help smokers quit smoking. The product (CARES) offered smokers a savings account in which they deposit funds for six months, after which they take a urine test for nicotine and cotinine. If they pass, their money is returned; otherwise, their money is forfeited to charity. Of smokers offered CARES, 11 percent took up, and smokers randomly offered CARES were 3 percentage points more likely to pass the 6-month test than the control group. More importantly, this effect persisted in surprise tests at 12 months, indicating that CARES produced lasting smoking cessation. (JEL D12, I12, O15)

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Authors

Giné, Xavier (World Bank)
Karlan, Dean (Yale U and Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab)
Zinman, Jonathan (Dartmouth College)

JEL Classifications

D12: Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
I12: Health Production
O15: Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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