Loose Knots: Strong versus Weak Commitments to Save for Education in Uganda
AbstractCommitment devices offer an opportunity to restrict future choices. However, if severe restrictions deter participation, weaker restrictions may be a more effective means of changing behavior. We test this using a school-based commitment savings device for educational expenses in Uganda. We compare an account fully-committed to educational expenses to an account in which savings are available for cash withdrawal but intended for educational expenses. The weaker commitment generates increased savings in the program accounts and when combined with a parent outreach program, higher expenditures on educational supplies. It also increases scores on an exam covering language and math skills by 0.14 standard deviations. We find no effect for the fully-committed account, and we find no effect for either account on attendance, enrollment, or non-cognitive skills.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19863.
Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Other versions of this item:
- Karlan, Dean & Linden, Leigh L., 2014. "Loose Knots: Strong versus Weak Commitments to Save for Education in Uganda," IZA Discussion Papers 7901, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Dean Karlan & Leigh Linden, 2014. "Loose Knots: Strong versus Weak Commitments to Save for Education in Uganda," Working Papers 1037, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2014-02-02 (All new papers)
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