Increasing saving intentions through leaderboards: A gamification approach

Saving money is important but challenging. To spur financial saving intentions, we propose a new strategy—gamification. Specifically, we investigate the effectiveness of competitive leaderboards in increasing individuals’ saving intentions. The results of two studies (total N = 618) show consistently that people’s saving intentions are higher when presented with a leaderboard than when not. Further, as leaderboards elicit social comparison, we explore whether the height of the comparison standard and individuals’ social comparison orientation moderate the effect. We find that the effect of leaderboards on saving intentions is more pronounced when people compare with a higher (as compared to a lower) standard (Study 1), but that the effect is not influenced by individuals’ social comparison orientation (Study 2). Taken together, this research provides a new and simple-to-implement strategy to facilitate saving intentions in order to help improve people’s financial well-being.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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