The Effect of Savings Accounts on Interpersonal Financial Relationships: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Rural Kenya

50 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2015

See all articles by Pascaline Dupas

Pascaline Dupas

Stanford University

Anthony Keats

Wesleyan University

Jonathan Robinson

University of California, Santa Cruz

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2015

Abstract

The welfare impact of expanding access to bank accounts depends on whether accounts crowd out pre-existing financial relationships, or whether private gains from accounts are shared within social networks. To study the effect of accounts on financial linkages, we provided free bank accounts to a random subset of 885 households. Within households, we randomized which spouse was offered an account and find no evidence of negative spillovers to spouses. Across households, we document positive spillovers: treatment households become less reliant on grown children and siblings living outside their village, and become more supportive of neighbors and friends within their village.

Keywords: financial access, social insurance, spillovers

JEL Classification: C93, D14, G21, O16

Suggested Citation

Dupas, Pascaline and Keats, Anthony and Robinson, Jonathan, The Effect of Savings Accounts on Interpersonal Financial Relationships: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Rural Kenya (July 2015). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10689. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2627641

Pascaline Dupas (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Anthony Keats

Wesleyan University ( email )

Jonathan Robinson

University of California, Santa Cruz ( email )

1156 High St
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States

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