Common Cents Lab End of Year Report

Posted by Duke University on February 13, 2017

Our findings and research on financial well-being

These articles and white papers combine academic insights with applied suggestions. Our hope is to provide you and your organization ideas supported by research that will increase the financial health and wellness for low- to moderate-income customers.

These papers are authored by Duke Center for Advanced Hindsight, Common Cents Lab, and Irrational Labs. Support comes from MetLife Foundation.

Common Cents Lab is a financial-decision research lab at Duke University that creates and tests behavioral economics interventions, with the mission of improving the financial well-being of 1.8 million low to moderate income (LMI) persons. We are generously supported by MetLife Foundation.

In the current state of the world, Americans are not financially secure. In a study we conducted with close to 1,000 LMI participants, 36% self-reported having less than $500 in savings (including retirement savings). Most people in the study did not feel financially secure, yet they had a strong desire to become financially secure. Astonishingly, over 92% of the respondents could list three or more specific actions that they could take to improve their financial security in the next month.

This is what social scientists call the Intention/Action Gap. A person has a big goal, and they may even know what to do to reach this goal, but they predictably fail to take the actions necessary to achieve it. Common Cents Lab bridges the Intention/Action Gap in five core areas where people say they need the most financial help:

  • Improving Cash Flow Management
  • Decreasing Expenses
  • Managing Debt
  • Increasing Short-Term Savings
  • Increasing Long-Term Savings

More in "New Resources"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.