NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Stephan Meier

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September 2012Under-Savers Anonymous: Evidence on Self-Help Groups and Peer Pressure as a Savings Commitment Device
with Felipe Kast, Dina Pomeranz: w18417
We test the effectiveness of self-help peer groups as a commitment device for precautionary savings, through two randomized field experiments among 2,687 microentrepreneurs in Chile. The first experiment finds that self-help peer groups are a powerful tool to increase savings (the number of deposits grows 3.5-fold and the average savings balance almost doubles). Conversely, a substantially higher interest rate has no effect on most participants. A second experiment tests an alternative delivery mechanism and shows that effects of a similar size can be achieved by holding people accountable through feedback text messages, without any meetings or peer pressure.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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