What is it about?
Millions of eligible low-income families did not claim their 2021 expanded child tax credit (CTC), which was typically communicated as $3,600 per year. In 3 large-scale field experiments, communicating the CTC benefit amount in terms of commonly used budgeting periods (e.g., $300/month) vs uncommonly used budgeting periods (e.g., $3,600/year) increased interest in claiming the CTC by 16 to 26%.
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Why is it important?
We propose that people prefer income streams when they are described in terms that match their common budgeting periods, because this match may help them simplify, plan, and effectively manage their resources. Policymakers and researchers should care about people's budgeting periods when communicating benefits.
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This page is a summary of: Communicating amounts in terms of commonly used budgeting periods increases intentions to claim government benefits, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, September 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
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