RWI Materialien

RWI Materialien 99

The Effect of Financial Incentives on Weight Loss. Documentation of Data from a Randomized Experiment

by Lea Eilers and Adam Pilny

12/2015, 94 S./p., 14 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-690-1



This data report documents the individual-level dataset of a randomized experiment to test whether obese people are more likely to reduce weight when receiving financial incentives. The experiment, conducted between March 2010 and July 2013, comprises 700 obese medical rehabilitation patients who were assigned to one of three experimental groups for achieving an individual target weight within four months after staying in a rehabilitation clinic in the federal state of Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Participants in the two treatment groups were paid premiums of different amounts for achieving their individual target weight, while individuals assigned to the control group received no such premium. The experimental design enables to control for a range of socio-economic and healthrelated characteristics of the individuals.