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One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Plurality of Social Norms and Saving Behavior in Kenya

Hanna Fromell, Daniele Nosenzo, Trudy Owens and Fabio Tufano ()
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Trudy Owens: University of Nottingham, School of Economics

No 2019-12, Discussion Papers from The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham

Abstract: We measure the social norms of sharing income with kin and neighbors in villages in Kenya. We find a plurality of norms: from a strict norm prohibiting wealth accumulation to a norm facilitating saving. Several individual and social network characteristics predict the norms upheld; the pro-saving norm becomes majoritarian when an individual can conceal their income from kin and neighbors. Whether income secrecy facilitates savings depends on the type of norm individuals uphold: stricter norm supporters are helped by secrecy, pro-saving norm supporters are harmed. This highlights the importance of measuring social norms when devising pro-saving policy interventions.

Keywords: Sharing norms; forced solidarity; social pressure; savings; social norms; KrupkaWeber method; lab-in-the-field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-mfd, nep-pay and nep-soc
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:not:notcdx:2019-12

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