Project: Financial Bootcamp
Women continue to lag behind men, not only in income, but in overall financial capability and retirement preparedness. In collaboration with LearnVest, a financial services provider, we are evaluating the impact of a financial education program for early to mid-career women that leverages behavioral economics and technology.
The bootcamp concept is popular in physical fitness: short-term intensive group behavior-modification programs. In this financial bootcamp, participants receive daily emails with instructions for implementing particular actions; they also interact via Facebook.
The incremental approach prevents participants from being overwhelmed, and the group participation provides motivation and support. The framing promotes cognitive preparation for change, and the continuously sustained intervention may help the women develop permanent habits.
These design elements will be tested in a representative sample of the U.S. female population, using the RAND American Life Panel (ALP) as well as an actual field experiment with consumers. By leveraging mass communication technologies, this intervention is relatively low-cost and may be a promising innovation to raise the efficiency of financial education by increasing the effectiveness of information that is already available.