Saturday, May 19 • 8:00am - 9:30am
E1c-Don’t Watch Me Read: How Mere Presence and Mandatory Waiting Periods Affect Consumer Decisions with Disclosures

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Alycia Chin, Dustin Beckett - To help people make informed decisions, policymakers often institute disclosure requirements.  We examine two factors that may affect informed decision making when using disclosures: the mere presence of an observer and a mandatory waiting period after receiving a disclosure.  In Study 1, we experimentally manipulate these factors together, finding that reading a disclosure alone with a waiting period leads to an increase in informed decision making from 5% to 35%.  In Study 2, we find that conditional on having a waiting period, removing an observer increases informed decision making from 13% to 33%.  In Study 3, we examine surveys from homebuyers, finding a correlation between receiving documents at closing and reluctance to ask questions.  Our findings have implications for public policy that relies on disclosure.


Alycia Chin

Research Scientist, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Saturday May 19, 2018 8:00am - 9:30am

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