Household Decision Making and Savings Impacts: Further Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines
29 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2006
Date Written: June 2006
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 self-perception 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 implementing sustainable, equilibrium-shifting interventions.
Keywords: Savings, microfinance, female empowerment, household decision making, commitment
JEL Classification: D12, D63, D91, J16, O12, O16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation