Fromell, Hanna Nosenzo, Daniele Owens, Trudy Tufano, Fabio
CeDEx Discussion Paper Series No. 2019-12
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.
Sharing norms forced solidarity social pressure savings social norms Krupka-Weber method lab-in-the-field experiment