DURHAM, N.C. (12/10/15)--Two credit unions will participate in a Duke University initiative that will apply behavioral economics to identify new ways to help millions of Americans improve their saving and spending habits.
MetLife Foundation and Duke University this week announced that, with support from MetLife Foundation, Duke University is launching the CommonCents Lab. Latino Community CU and Duke CU, both of Durham, N.C., have committed to serve as research partners for the lab, which will partner directly with other financial institutions, community colleges, employers and other nonprofit organizations to design, build and test solutions intended to help people make smarter choices with their finances.
The lab will focus on developing steps to help people build emergency, retirement and college savings, and make informed big purchase decisions and end-of-life financial arrangements.
The CommonCents team and its research partners will identify behavior-related challenges and design solutions, as well as implement randomized controlled trials to test those solutions in the real world.
“The gap between what people want and what they do is described by social scientists as the intention-action gap,” said Dan Ariely, the James B. Duke professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University “We are supposed to think about all the things we want to spend on now versus later, but the reality is that we live in the moment and we make myopic decisions without thinking much about the big picture or the long term. The problem is that thinking about money the right way is really, really hard. So we don’t think about money the right way, and sometimes we just don’t think about our spending at all.”