Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/26980
Authors: 
Ashraf, Nava
Karlan, Dean S.
Yin, Wesley
Year of Publication: 
2006
Series/Report no.: 
Center discussion paper // Economic Growth Center 939
Abstract: 
Commitment devices for savings could benefit those with self-control as well as familial or spousal control issues. We find evidence to support both motivations. We examine the impact of a commitment savings product in the Philippines on household decision making power and selfperception of savings behavior, as well as actual savings. The product leads to more decision making power in the household for women, and likewise more purchases of female-oriented durable goods. We also find that the product leads women who appear time-inconsistent in a baseline survey to self-report being a disciplined saver in the follow-up survey. For impact on savings balances, we find that the 81% increase in savings after one year did not crowd out savings held outside of the participating bank, but that the longer-term impact over two and a half years on bank savings dissipated to only a 33% increase, which is no longer statistically significant. We discuss reasons why the effect dissipated and the implications for designing and mplementing sustainable, equilibrium-shifting interventions.
Subjects: 
Savings
microfinance
female empowerment
household decision making
commitment
JEL: 
D12
D63
D91
J16
O12
O16
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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