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Financial Education and Access to Savings Accounts: Complements or Substitutes? Evidence from Ugandan Youth Clubs

  • Dean Karlan


    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Julian Jamison


    (Department of Economics, Harvard University)

  • Jonathan Zinman


    (Dartmouth College)

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    Evidence on the effectiveness of financial education and formal savings account access is lacking, particularly for youth. We randomly assign 250 youth clubs to receive either financial education, access to a cheap group account, or both. The financial education treatments increase financial literacy; the account-only treatment does not. Administrative data shows the education plus account treatment increases bank savings relative to account-only. But survey-measured total savings shows roughly equal increases across all treatment arms. Earned income also increases in all treatment arms. We find little evidence that education and account access are strong complements, and some evidence they are substitutes.

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    Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 1040.

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    Length: 87 pages
    Date of creation: May 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:1040
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    1. Karlan, Dean & Ratan, Aishwarya Lakshmi & Zinman, Jonathan, 2013. "Savings by and for the Poor: A Research Review and Agenda," Working Papers 118, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    2. Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672, May.
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