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Effects of Youth Savings Accounts on School Attendance and Academic Performance: Evidence from a Youth Savings Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • David Ansong

    () (Global Social Development Innovations (GSDI), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

  • Gina Chowa

    (Global Social Development Innovations (GSDI), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

  • Rainier Masa

    (Global Social Development Innovations (GSDI), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

  • Mathieu Despard

    (Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis)

  • Michael Sherraden

    (Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis)

  • Shiyou Wu

    (Arizona State University)

  • Isaac Osei-Akoto

    (Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana)

Abstract

Asset-accumulation interventions are promising tools for promoting better educational outcomes. However, little is known about the educational effects of youth-owned assets, particularly in resource-limited countries. The Ghana YouthSave Experiment established a rigorous foundation for exploring youth responses when offered opportunities to save for their education. This study uses data from 2000 junior high YouthSave participants, who were randomly assigned to one of two treatments (in-school or local bank access) or the control group. Treatment effects on school attendance and academic performance are examined using difference-in-difference estimation with bootstrapped standard errors. Treatment effects were significant for attendance but not performance. Findings suggest longer posttreatment follow-up is needed for effects to manifest. This study demonstrates the potential of asset-accumulation programs to contribute to improved behavioral outcomes, and offers insights for the integration of financial capability programs in youth development policies.

Suggested Citation

  • David Ansong & Gina Chowa & Rainier Masa & Mathieu Despard & Michael Sherraden & Shiyou Wu & Isaac Osei-Akoto, 2019. "Effects of Youth Savings Accounts on School Attendance and Academic Performance: Evidence from a Youth Savings Experiment," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 269-281, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jfamec:v:40:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10834-018-9604-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s10834-018-9604-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sun, Sicong & Nabunya, Proscovia & Byansi, William & Sensoy Bahar, Ozge & Damulira, Christopher & Neilands, Torsten B. & Guo, Shenyang & Namuwonge, Flavia & Ssewamala, Fred M., 2020. "Access and utilization of financial services among poor HIV-impacted children and families in Uganda," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C).

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