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Who Recovers Unclaimed Funds? (Public)

Project Unclaimed property project
Study ID sspp-2022-0002-v1
Study Title Who Recovers Unclaimed Funds?
Authors Eva Vivalt
Completion Time 15 Minutes
Close Date Oct. 31, 2022
Discipline Economics
Field Labor Economics, Behavioral Economics
Country United States
Abstract
Currently, state governments in the United States hold billions of dollars in unclaimed properties. This represents a welfare-loss for the owners who fail to recover the amount that is owed to them. However, no studies to date have attempted to systematically investigate the types of unclaimed property owed, the demographics of the non-claimants, or their reasons for non-claiming. This study will document these basic facts and test the effectiveness of providing information and assistance in recovering the unclaimed property. Several behavioral interventions will be cross-randomized to test hypotheses relating to non-claiming behavior. This study will be the first to focus explicitly on unclaimed property and is expected to contribute to our understanding of the barriers to recovering it.



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