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Effects of individual development accounts on asset purchases and saving behavior: Evidence from a controlled experiment

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  • Mills, Gregory
  • Gale, William G.
  • Patterson, Rhiannon
  • Engelhardt, Gary V.
  • Eriksen, Michael D.
  • Apostolov, Emil

Abstract

We evaluate the first controlled field experiment on Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Including their own contributions and matching funds, treatment group members in the Tulsa, Oklahoma program could accumulate $6750 for home purchase or $4500 for other qualified uses. Almost all treatment group members opened accounts, but many withdrew all funds for unqualified purposes. Among renters at the beginning of the experiment, the IDA increased homeownership rates after 4Â years by 7-11 percentage points and reduced non-retirement financial assets by $700-$1000. The IDA had almost no other discernable effect on other subsidized assets, overall wealth, or poverty rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5-6 (June)
Pages: 1509-1530

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:5-6:p:1509-1530

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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References

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  1. Richard Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save more tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving," Natural Field Experiments 00337, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Nava Ashraf & Dean S. Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2005. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," Working Papers 917, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
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  4. Marianne Bertrand & Dean S. Karlan & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "What's Psychology Worth? A Field Experiment in the Consumer Credit Market," Working Papers 918, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  5. Emmanuel Saez, 2009. "Details Matter: The Impact of Presentation and Information on the Take-Up of Financial Incentives for Retirement Saving," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 204-28, February.
  6. Gary V. Engelhardt & Christopher J. Mayer, 1995. "Intergenerational transfers, borrowing constraints, and saving behavior: evidence from the housing market," Working Papers 95-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  7. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "THE POWER OF SUGGESTION: INERTIA IN 401(k) PARTICIPATION AND SAVINGS BEHAVIOR," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187, November.
  8. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1996. "How Retirement Saving Programs Increase Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 91-112, Fall.
  9. Smeeding, Timothy M. & Phillips, Katherin Ross & O’Connor, Michael, 2000. "The EITC: Expectation, Knowledge, Use, and Economic and Social Mobility," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1187-210, December.
  10. Engelhardt, Gary V., 2003. "Nominal loss aversion, housing equity constraints, and household mobility: evidence from the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 171-195, January.
  11. Engelhardt, Gary V, 1996. "Tax Subsidies and Household Saving: Evidence from Canada," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1237-68, November.
  12. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 2005. "Homeownership in the 1980s and 1990s: aggregate trends and racial gaps," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 101-127, January.
  13. Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S164-S187, February.
  14. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1996. "The Illusory Effects of Saving Incentives on Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 113-138, Fall.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Brigitte C. Madrian, 2012. "Matching Contributions and Savings Outcomes: A Behavioral Economics Perspective," NBER Working Papers 18220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Michal Grinstein-Weiss & Michael Sherraden & William G. Gale & William M. Rohe & Mark Schreiner & Clinton Key, 2013. "Long-Term Impacts of Individual Development Accounts on Homeownership among Baseline Renters: Follow-Up Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 122-45, February.
  3. Engelhardt, Gary V. & Eriksen, Michael D. & Gale, William G. & Mills, Gregory B., 2010. "What are the social benefits of homeownership? Experimental evidence for low-income households," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 249-258, May.
  4. Grinstein-Weiss, Michal & Sherraden, Michael & Gale, William G. & Rohe, William M. & Schreiner, Mark & Key, Clinton, 2013. "Long-term effects of Individual Development Accounts on postsecondary education: Follow-up evidence from a randomized experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 58-68.
  5. Dean Karlan & Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan & Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Savings by and for the Poor: A Research Review and Agenda," Working Papers 1027, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  6. Eriksen, Michael D., 2010. "Homeownership subsidies and the marriage decisions of low-income households," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 490-497, November.
  7. Michal Grinstein-Weiss & Yeong Yeo & Mathieu Despard & Adriane Casalotti & Min Zhan, 2010. "Does Prior Banking Experience Matter? Differences of the Banked and Unbanked in Individual Development Accounts," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 212-227, June.
  8. Gennetian, Lisa A. & Castells, Nina & Morris, Pamela A., 2010. "Meeting the basic needs of children: Does income matter?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1138-1148, September.
  9. Dean Karlan, Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan, Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Savings by and for the Poor: A Research Review and Agenda-Working Paper 346," Working Papers 346, Center for Global Development.

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