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Savings Goal Calendars as Soft Commitment Devices: Evidence from Small Business Owners in Uganda

Antonia Grohmann, Tabea Lakemann and Helke Seitz

No 1919, Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin from DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research

Abstract: This study examines the effect of a soft commitment device in the form of a savings goal calendar on savings for small business owners in Kampala, Uganda. We run a randomized controlled trial (RCT) under which the treatment group receives a calendar designed to set savings goals and to make a plan to reach this goal. The control group is given a plain calendar. We find no average effect on savings, but show that present-biased individuals save more when given the calendar. Further examinations indicate that present-biased individuals are more likely to use the calendar, suggesting that, in line with theory, present-biased individuals have a demand.

Keywords: Soft commitment; savings; time preferences; small business growth (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D14 D22 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 35 p.
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-exp and nep-mfd
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