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Seminarios académicos y conferencias

Jessica Goldberg, University of Maryland College Park

Savings Defaults and Payment Delays for Cash Transfers: Field Experimental Evidence from Malawi

12 Enero 2016 - 13 hrs.

Sala 209, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas UC

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Abstract:
Financial products and transfer schemes are often designed to help individuals follow through intertemporal plans by not giving into “temptation”. We implement an artefactual field experiment in Malawi to test the ability of households to manage a cash windfall and learn whether savings defaults and delayed payments change consumption patterns in ways that are likely to be welfare improving. We vary whether 600 households receive a windfall payment in cash or through direct deposit into pre-established accounts at a local bank, and whether payments are made immediately, with one day’s delay, or with eight days’ delay. Defaulting the payment into a savings account leads to higher bank savings, an effect that persists for a number of weeks afterwards. However, neither savings defaults nor payment delays affect the amount or composition of spending, suggesting that households manage cash effectively without the use of formal financial products.