Why Are Benefits Left on the Table? Assessing the Role of Information, Complexity, and Stigma on Take-Up With an Irs Field Experiment

Saurabh Bhargava, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Day Manoli, University of California Los Angeles, USA
We address the puzzle of incomplete EITC take-up with a field experiment testing the role of information, complexity, and stigma among 35,050 individuals owed benefits of $26 million. We find that simplicity and display of benefits significantly increases take-up, and our interventions could reduce incomplete program take-up from 25% to 22%.
[ to cite ]:
Saurabh Bhargava and Day Manoli (2012) ,"Why Are Benefits Left on the Table? Assessing the Role of Information, Complexity, and Stigma on Take-Up With an Irs Field Experiment", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 40, eds. Zeynep G├╝rhan-Canli, Cele Otnes, and Rui (Juliet) Zhu, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 298-302.