The effects of progress-monitoring on goal attainment under scarcity

Abstract

Research suggests that resource scarcity shortens time horizons in decision-making. We hypothesize that monitoring progress towards a goal facilitates goal attainment under scarcity. With a sample of homeless individuals in Durham and Chapel Hill, NC, we tested the effects of progress-monitoring (via coffee-style punch cards) on savings goal attainment. All participants were members of the Community Empowerment Fund, an organization that provides people experiencing homelessness with financial services including savings accounts. Our results show that members in the punch card condition saved over twice as much towards their savings goals compared to those in a control condition.

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Atlanta, GA
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