Winter 2022 Workshops - Roman Family Center | Chicago Booth Skip to main content

Winter 2022 Workshops

When: Mondays 10:00–11:30 a.m. (unless otherwise noted)
Where: Workshops were held in a hybrid format - in person at the Harper Center and via Zoom. 


Monday, February 7

Wendy de la Rosa

"The Impact of Income Stream Variations on Consumer Behavior"

Abstract: Virtually every consumer has received an income stream or thought about pursuing an income stream. The current work focuses on how different income streams impact consumers’ perceptions, behaviors, and general well-being. First, we analyze the impact of payment frequency on consumer spending. An analysis of income and expenditure data of over 30,000 consumers from a financial services provider demonstrates a naturally occurring relationship between higher payment frequencies and increased spending. A series of lab studies support this finding, providing causal evidence that higher (vs. lower) payment frequencies increase spending. The effect of payment frequency on spending is driven by changes in consumers’ subjective wealth perceptions. Specifically, higher payment frequencies reduce consumers’ uncertainty in predicting whether they will have enough resources throughout a period, increasing their subjective wealth perceptions. The effects of payment frequency on subjective wealth and spending can occur even when objective wealth favors those with lower payment frequencies.

Second, we explore the impact of communicating income streams across common (vs. uncommon) budgeting periods. Using the child tax credit (CTC) as an example, we propose that communicating the CTC benefit amount in terms of commonly used budgeting periods (e.g., $300 a month) instead of uncommonly used budgeting periods (e.g., $3,600 a year) will increase interest in claiming the CTC. Two large-scale field experiments among low-income individuals support this account. Using common (vs. uncommon) budgeting periods to describe the CTC benefit amounts increased interest in claiming the CTC by 17% to 22%. A third large-scale field experiment demonstrated that encouraging people to consider different budgeting periods moderated these effects. These results suggest that communicating amounts in terms of commonly used budgeting periods is a simple, cost-effective way to stimulate interest in claiming government benefits.


Monday, February 28 - VIRTUAL ONLY

Patricia Greenfield

"Culture Change in the Pandemic: Adapting to Survival Threat and Small-Scale Social Environments"

Abstract: What are the psychological effects of the coronavirus pandemic? My theory of Social Change, Cultural Evolution, and Human Development predicts that when survival concerns and mortality salience augment, and one’s social world narrows toward the family household. life shifts towards activities, values, relationships, and parenting expectations typical of small-scale rural subsistence environments with low life expectancy. Specific predictions were that, during the pandemic, both survey data and social media activity would show intensified mortality salience (e.g., thinking about one’s own mortality); increased subsistence activities (e.g., growing food); augmented subsistence values (e.g., conserving resources); more interdependent family relationships (e.g., members helping each other obtain food; parents expecting children to help around the house). All hypotheses were confirmed with large-scale surveys in two states and a big data study of online behavior,  We posited that an experience of increased mortality salience and number of days spent observing stay-at-home orders would predict these shifts. A structural equation model confirmed this hypothesis.