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Household decision making and savings impacts: Further evidence from a commitment savings product in the philippines

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  • Nava Ashaf
  • Dean Karlan
  • Wesley Yin

Abstract

Commitment devices for savings could benefit those with self-control as well as familial or spousal control issues. We find evidence to support both motivations. We examine the impact of a commitment savings product in the Philippines on household decision making power and self-perception of savings behavior, as well as actual savings. The product leads to more decision making power in the household for women, and likewise more purchases of female-oriented durable goods. We also find that the product leads women who appear time-inconsistent in a baseline survey to self-report being a disciplined saver in the follow-up survey. For impact on savings balances, we find that the 81% increase in savings after one year did not crowd out savings held outside of the participating bank, but that the longer-term impact over two and a half years on bank savings dissipated to only a 33% increase, which is no longer statistically significant. We discuss reasons why the effect dissipated and the implications for designing and implementing sustainable, equilibrium-shifting interventions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Natural Field Experiments with number 00207.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00207

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Cited by:
  1. Beck, Thorsten & de la Torre, Augusto, 2006. "The basic analytics of access to financial services," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4026, The World Bank.
  2. Pascaline Dupas & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "Why Don't the Poor Save More? Evidence from Health Savings Experiments," NBER Working Papers 17255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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