One Size Doesnâ€™t Fit All: Plurality of Social Norms and Saving Behavior in Kenya
Trudy Owens () and
Fabio Tufano ()
No 2019-12, Discussion Papers from The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham
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)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-mfd, nep-pay and nep-soc
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