This research examines the effects of earmarking money on savings by low-income consumers. In particular, the authors test two interventions that are designed to enhance the effects of earmarking: (1) using a visual reminder of the savings goal and (2) dividing the earmarked money into two parts. Consistent with prior research suggesting that partitioning increases self-control, people save more when earmarked money is partitioned into two accounts than when it is pooled into one account. In addition, the presence of the visual reminder increases the savings rate. The authors conclude with implications for consumer welfare and directions for further research.
Soman, D., &Cheema, A. (2011). Earmarking and partitioning: Increasing saving by low-income households. Journal of Marketing Research, 48(SPL), S14-S22.