A Nudge for Mobility: Increasing Parental Investments in Their Children
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This paper reports results from the “Parents and Children Together Study,” a randomized-control experiment conducted in Head Start centers in Chicago designed to increase the amount of time low-income parents spend reading with their children. Participating parents borrow an electronic tablet that has a recordable storybook app with over 500 books in its digital library. The tablet collects objective data on the amount of parent-child reading time. The treatment group receives a behaviorally-informed intervention that includes a suite of behavioral “nudges,” including weekly goal setting, daily text-message reminders, visual feedback on weekly progress, and personal and peer recognition for meeting goals. Parents assigned to the control group receive the tablet with the storybook app and instructions for how to use it but none of the behavioral “nudges.” Results show that at the end of the 6-week intervention, parents in the experimental group spent on average more than twice as much time reading with their children from the storybook app compared to parents in the control condition. This represents a statistically significant and very large treatment impact. The treatment impact persisted for a three-week follow-up period following the cessation of the intervention.