What We Do
The Center invests heavily in infrastructure that can be used in a wide variety of applications. We are building an Internet panel of 2500 respondents (currently about 2000) age 18 or over who are surveyed about once a month with in-depth questions about some key issues. The questions focus on information gathering habits, interpretation of options (as a function of how they are presented), preferences, and cognitive skills. The environment facilitates extensive survey experimentation, aiming for optimal presentation of information to respondents, gauged through the use of visual displays, requests for feedback to and from respondents, and letting them play investment games to study how people make financial decisions. The goal of the center is not only to gain a better understanding of how people make financial decisions, but also to use research results to develop and test tools to support economic decisionmaking by people with respect to saving, retirement, insurance, etc.
Partly, the Center provides an open environment for researchers (from both within and outside RAND) and policy makers to try out new ideas and to experiment with new policy tools. The computerized nature of the environment and the fact that all respondents are on-line, guarantees a quick turn around time of new projects and makes experiments very cost effective.