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

49 Pages Posted: 13 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.

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). NBER Working Paper No. w21339. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2629944

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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