IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp7901.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Loose Knots: Strong versus Weak Commitments to Save for Education in Uganda

Author

Listed:
  • Karlan, Dean

    () (Yale University)

  • Linden, Leigh L.

    () (University of Texas at Austin)

Abstract

Commitment 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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7901
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7901.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Francesco Avvisati & Marc Gurgand & Nina Guyon & Eric Maurin, 2014. "Getting Parents Involved: A Field Experiment in Deprived Schools," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 57-83.
    2. Hidalgo, Diana & Onofa, Mercedes & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Ponce, Juan, 2013. "Can provision of free school uniforms harm attendance? Evidence from Ecuador," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 43-51.
    3. Dean Karlan & Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan & Jonathan Zinman, 2014. "Savings by and for the Poor: A Research Review and Agenda," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(1), pages 36-78, March.
    4. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Marianne Bertrand & Leigh L. Linden & Francisco Perez-Calle, 2011. "Improving the Design of Conditional Transfer Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Education Experiment in Colombia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 167-195, April.
    5. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672.
    6. Karlan, Dean S. & Ratan, Aishwarya & Zinman, Jonathan, 2013. "Savings by and for the Poor: A Research Review and Agenda," Center Discussion Papers 153267, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    7. Carla Bertoncino & Paud Murphy & Lianqin Wang, 2002. "Achieving Universal Primary Education in Uganda : The ‘Big Bang’ Approach," World Bank Other Operational Studies 10412, The World Bank.
    8. Dean Karlan, Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan, Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Savings by and for the Poor: A Research Review and Agenda-Working Paper 346," Working Papers 346, Center for Global Development.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Prina, Silvia, 2015. "Banking the poor via savings accounts: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 16-31.
    2. De Arcangelis, Giuseppe & Joxhe, Majlinda & McKenzie, David & Tiongson, Erwin & Yang, Dean, 2015. "Directing remittances to education with soft and hard commitments: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment and new product take-up among Filipino migrants in Rome," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 197-208.
    3. Himmler, Oliver & Jaeckle, Robert & Weinschenk, Philipp, 2017. "Soft Commitments, Reminders and Academic Performance," MPRA Paper 76832, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Carolina Laureti & Alain De Janvry & Elisabeth Sadoulet, 2017. "Flexible Microfinance Products for Financial Management by the Poor: Evidence from SafeSave," Working Papers CEB 17-036, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Beshears, John & Choi, James J. & Harris, Christopher & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C. & Sakong, Jung, 2015. "Self Control and Commitment: Can Decreasing the Liquidity of a Savings Account Increase Deposits?," Working Paper Series 15-048, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    6. Eduardo A. Cavallo & Tomás Serebrisky & Verónica Frisancho & Jonathan Karver & Andrew Powell & Diego Margot & Ancor Suárez-Alemán & Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Matías Marzani & Solange Berstein & Marian, 2016. "Saving for Development: How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Save More and Better," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 94597 edited by Eduardo A. Cavallo & Tomás Serebrisky, February.
    7. Delavallade, Clara & Dizon, Felipe & Hill, Ruth & Petraud, Jean Paul, 2015. "Managing Risk with Insurance and Savings: Experimental Evidence for Male and Female Farm Managers in the Sahel," SALDRU Working Papers 142, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    8. Marc Labie & Carolina Laureti & Ariane Szafarz, 2016. "Discipline and Flexibility: A Behavioral Perspective on Product Design in Microfinance," Working Papers CEB 15-020, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Jeremy Burke & Jill Luoto & Francisco Perez-Arce, 2014. "Soft versus Hard Commitments A Test on Savings Behaviors," Working Papers WR-1055, RAND Corporation.
    10. repec:idb:idbbks:7677 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    commitment savings; micro-savings; educational resources; school participation;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7901. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.