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Savings in Transnational Households: A Field Experiment among Migrants from El Salvador

Author

Listed:
  • Nava Ashraf

    () (Harvard Business School)

  • Diego Aycinena

    () (Francisco Marroquin University)

  • Claudia Martínez A.

    () (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile)

  • Dean Yang

    () (University of Michigan)

Abstract

We implemented a randomized field experiment that tested ways to stimulate migrants’ savings in their origin country. We find that migrants value opportunities to exert greater control over financial activities in their home countries. We offered U.S.-based migrants bank accounts in El Salvador, randomly varying migrant control over El Salvador–based savings by offering different accounts across treatments. Migrants offered the greatest degree of control accumulated the most savings. Impacts likely represent increases in total savings; there is no evidence that savings increases were simply reallocated from other savings mechanisms. Enhanced control over home country savings does not affect remittances sent home. © 2015 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Suggested Citation

  • Nava Ashraf & Diego Aycinena & Claudia Martínez A. & Dean Yang, 2015. "Savings in Transnational Households: A Field Experiment among Migrants from El Salvador," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 332-351, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:97:y:2015:i:2:p:332-351
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    migrant; savings; control; remittances; home country; country of origin; El Salvador;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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