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The Persistent Power of Behavioral Change: Long-Run Impacts of Temporary Savings Subsidies for the Poor

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  • Simone Schaner

Abstract

I use a field experiment in rural Kenya to study how temporary incentives to save impact long-run economic outcomes. Study participants randomly selected to receive large temporary interest rates on an individual bank account had significantly more income and assets 2.5 years after the interest rates expired. These changes are much larger than the short-run impacts on experimental bank account use and almost entirely driven by growth in entrepreneurship. Temporary interest rates directed to joint bank accounts had no detectable long-run impacts on entrepreneurship or income, but increased investment in household public goods and spousal consensus over finances.

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  • Simone Schaner, 2016. "The Persistent Power of Behavioral Change: Long-Run Impacts of Temporary Savings Subsidies for the Poor," NBER Working Papers 22534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22534
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    1. repec:eee:deveco:v:135:y:2018:i:c:p:517-533 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kraay, Aart & McKenzie, David, 2014. "Do poverty traps exist ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6835, The World Bank.
    3. Pascaline Dupas & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Robinson & Diego Ubfal, 2018. "Banking the Unbanked? Evidence from Three Countries," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 257-297, April.
    4. 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.
    5. Jamison, Julian C. & Karlan, Dean S. & Zinman, Jonathan, 2014. "Financial Education and Access to Savings Accounts: Complements or Substitutes? Evidence from Ugandan Youth Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 9979, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Vincent Somville & Lore Vandewalle, 2017. "Access to Formal Banking and Household Finances: Experimental Evidence from India," CMI Working Papers 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    7. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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