Social Capital and Financial Inclusion: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment

33 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2018

See all articles by Patrick Behr

Patrick Behr

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (EBAPE)

Jorge Jacob

Columbia University - Department of Psychology

Date Written: October 30, 2018

Abstract

We investigate if social capital impacts savings behavior and account activity of low-income individuals. We conduct a randomized field experiment with 2,056 clients of a provider of financial services in Senegal whereby clients receive text message reminders to stimulate their savings behavior and account activity. While the reminder containing the social capital treatment does not have a generally stimulating effect on savings and account activity, it does so for women. Female clients which saved less and displayed lower account activity become as active as male clients after being subject to the social capital treatment. In a second, survey study, we provide evidence that social capital is indeed more important for women in low-income countries. Our results suggest a simple and cost-effective device to increase financial inclusion of one of the most financially excluded groups: women in low-income countries.

Keywords: account activity, financial inclusion, RCT, social capital, text message reminders

JEL Classification: G2, G41, O16, R2

Suggested Citation

Behr, Patrick and Jacob, Jorge, Social Capital and Financial Inclusion: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment (October 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3279045 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3279045

Patrick Behr (Contact Author)

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (EBAPE) ( email )

Brazil

Jorge Jacob

Columbia University - Department of Psychology ( email )

406 Schermerhorn Hall
1190 Amsterdam Avenue, Mail Code 5501
New York, NY 10027
United States

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