Using Bank Savings Product Design for Empowering Women and Agricultural Development

64 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2021


This study examines whether the random allocation of single and joint saving accounts to cash crop farmers in rural Ethiopia is associated with changes in decision-making authority and control over resources that ultimately lead to changes in labor effort, schooling allocations, income, consumption, agricultural investments, and crop output. Women and children work more when joint deposit accounts are available. Likewise, meaningful effects on school participation are reported for girls. Consistent with posited channels of intrahousehold bargaining models, women from households assigned to the joint saving treatment group show significant gains in autonomy and control of savings resources, and financial empowerment. While we find substantial gains in subjective wellbeing for single and joint account experimental groups, no meaningful impacts on agricultural crop output, income, and consumption are found. However, a systematic decumulation of livestock assets is observed across households assigned to the joint account treatment group.

JEL Classification: C93, D14, G21, J43, I21, O12, R20

Suggested Citation

Galdo, Jose, Using Bank Savings Product Design for Empowering Women and Agricultural Development. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14523, Available at SSRN: or

Jose Galdo (Contact Author)

Carleton University

1125 colonel By Drive
Ottawa, K1S 5B6

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