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One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Plurality of Social Norms and Saving Behavior in Kenya

Author

Listed:
  • Hanna Fromell

    () (University of Groningen)

  • Daniele Nosenzo

    (University of Nottingham, School of Economics & Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER))

  • Trudy Owens

    (University of Nottingham, School of Economics)

  • Fabio Tufano

    (University of Nottingham, School of Economics)

Abstract

We measure the social norms of sharing income with kin and neighbors in villages in Kenya. We find a plurality of norms: from a strict norm prohibiting wealth accumulation to a norm facilitating saving. Several individual and social network characteristics predict the norms upheld; the pro-saving norm becomes majoritarian when an individual can conceal their income from kin and neighbors. Whether income secrecy facilitates savings depends on the type of norm individuals uphold: stricter norm supporters are helped by secrecy, pro-saving norm supporters are harmed. This highlights the importance of measuring social norms when devising pro-saving policy interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanna Fromell & Daniele Nosenzo & Trudy Owens & Fabio Tufano, 2019. "One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Plurality of Social Norms and Saving Behavior in Kenya," Discussion Papers 2019-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2019-12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Sharing norms; forced solidarity; social pressure; savings; social norms; KrupkaWeber method; lab-in-the-field experiment;

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