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What are the Headwaters of Formal Savings? Experimental Evidence from Sri Lanka

Michael Callen, Suresh De Mel, Craig McIntosh and Christopher Woodruff ()

No 20736, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: The world’s poor are seeing a rapid expansion in access to formal savings accounts. What is the source of savings when households are connected to a formal account? We combine a high-frequency panel survey spanning two and a half years with an experiment in which a Sri Lankan bank used mobile Point-of-Service (POS) terminals to collect deposits directly from households each week. We find that the headwaters of formal savings lie in sacrificed leisure time: households work more, and improved savings options generate an increase in labor effort in both self-employment and in the wage market. The results suggest that the labor allocation channel is an important mechanism linking savings opportunities to income.

JEL-codes: D14 G21 O16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-mfd
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Published as Michael Callen & Suresh de Mel & Craig McIntosh & Christopher Woodruff, 2019. "What Are the Headwaters of Formal Savings? Experimental Evidence from Sri Lanka," The Review of Economic Studies, vol 86(6), pages 2491-2529.

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Related works:
Journal Article: What Are the Headwaters of Formal Savings? Experimental Evidence from Sri Lanka (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: What Are the Headwaters of Formal Savings? Experimental Evidence from Sri Lanka (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: What Are the Headwaters of Formal Savings? Experimental Evidence from Sri Lanka (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: What are the Headwaters of Formal Savings? Experimental Evidence from Sri Lanka (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: What are the Headwaters of Formal Savings? Experimental Evidence from Sri Lanka (2014) Downloads
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