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

Xavier Giné, Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Vol. 2, No. 4 (October 2010), pp. 213-235
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25760239
Page Count: 23
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Put Your Money Where Your Butt Is: A Commitment Contract for Smoking Cessation
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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.

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