Refund to Savings (R2S)

Financial Behaviors

The Refund to Savings (R2S) randomized experiment measures the effect of behavioral economics techniques on savings at tax time by building a saving-promotion scheme into the TurboTax Free File Online product that is available free to low- and moderate-income households. 

The tax refund is the largest check most households receive all year. Because the refund is separate from normal household income, it may present a golden moment to build savings. This research draws on lessons from behavioral economics to design defaults and frameworks that could encourage individuals to save more of their incomes. See R2S_Concept_Paper and R2S_FAQs.

Launched as a collaboration of the Center for Social Development, Duke University, and Intuit Inc., the makers of TurboTax, the R2S project continues at Washington University’s Social Policy Institute.

Funding Partner: Ford Foundation

Principal Investigator

Michal Grinstein-Weiss

Michal Grinstein-Weiss

Washington University in St. Louis
Financial Behaviors: Nudges and Habits


Stephen Roll

Washington University in St. Louis