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Precautionary Savings and Shock-Coping Behaviors: The Effects of Promoting Mobile Bank Savings on Transactional Sex in Kenya*

Kelly Jones () and Erick Gong

No 2019-06, Working Papers from American University, Department of Economics

Abstract: For the vulnerable, even small shocks can have significant short-and long-term impacts. Beneficial shock-coping mechanisms are not widely available in sub-Saharan Africa. We test whether individual precautionary savings can reduce a shock-coping behavior common in SSA that has negative spillovers: transactional sex. Among a set of vulnerable women, we randomly assigned an intervention that promoted savings in a mobile banking account labeled for goals and emergency expenses. We find that the intervention led to an increase in total mobile savings, reductions in transactional sex as a risk-coping response, and a decrease in symptoms of sexually transmitted infections. Changes are sustained in the medium-term.

Keywords: Shock-coping; Savings; Sexual behavior; Kenya; Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O12 D14 I15 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-mfd and nep-pay
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