More On Poverty and Financial Literacy

Sendhil Mullainathan writes about the lessons the rich can learn from the poor about frugality for the Upshot.

Consider this situation: You’re shopping for headphones. An electronics store has the model you want for $50, a reasonable price. But a sales clerk says: “You know our other branch has this item on sale for $40.” Going to that store will take 30 minutes, and you can’t buy the headphones for that price online. Do you go to the other branch?

Before you answer, consider a slightly modified version of the same situation: Instead of headphones, you are buying speakers. You go to the same store and find the model you want for $400. Again, the price seems reasonable but the sales clerk says it’s on sale at the other branch for $385. What do you do now?

This is covering the same research as the earlier Wonkblog article.


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