Linh T. Tô, Boston University

"Anticipation and Consumption"


Cash transfer payments are an increasingly widespread policy tool in developed and developing countries, used for both short-term and long-term objectives. We study the design of these policies by examining how the time horizon over which households anticipate receiving transfer payments affects consumption and savings. Using Nielsen Consumer Panel data, we estimate higher marginal propensities to spend for US households scheduled to receive the 2008 Economic Stimulus Payments sooner. Analyzing data from randomized experiments in Kenya and Malawi, we document higher savings among households scheduled to wait longer before receiving lump-sum transfers. We discuss implications of our results through a model of mental accounting.

Linh T. Tô is assistant professor in the department of economics at Boston University. She obtained her PhD in Economics from Harvard University in 2019.

Linh Tô works on topics in labor, public, and behavioral economics. Her work involves using quasi-experimental methods and administrative datasets as well as experimental methods to understand labor market outcomes, social interactions, and household decisions with an emphasis on the role of information and beliefs and the economics of gender.

You can read more about Linh T. Tô here

CEBI contact: Jakob Egholt Søgaard