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)
"Put Your Money Where Your Butt Is: A Commitment Contract for Smoking Cessation."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration