NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Anthony Keats

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Working Papers

July 2015The Effect of Savings Accounts on Interpersonal Financial Relationships: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Rural Kenya
with Pascaline Dupas, Jonathan Robinson: w21339
The welfare impact of expanding access to bank accounts depends on whether accounts crowd out pre-existing financial relationships, or whether private gains from accounts are shared within social networks. To study the effect of accounts on financial linkages, we provided free bank accounts to a random subset of 885 households. Within households, we randomized which spouse was offered an account and find no evidence of negative spillovers to spouses. Across households, we document positive spillovers: treatment households become less reliant on grown children and siblings living outside their village, and become more supportive of neighbors and friends within their village.
February 2012Challenges in Banking the Rural Poor: Evidence from Kenya's Western Province
with Pascaline Dupas, Sarah Green, Jonathan Robinson: w17851
Most people in rural Africa do not have bank accounts. In this paper, we combine experimental and survey evidence from Western Kenya to document some of the supply and demand factors behind such low levels of financial inclusion. Our experiment had two parts. In the first part, we waived the fixed cost of opening a basic savings account at a local bank for a random subset of individuals who were initially unbanked. While 63% of people opened an account, only 18% actively used it. Survey evidence suggests that the main reasons people did not begin saving in their bank accounts are that: (1) they do not trust the bank, (2) service is unreliable, and (3) withdrawal fees are prohibitively expensive. In the second part of the experiment, we provided information on local credit options and lower...

Forthcoming: Challenges in Banking the Rural Poor: Evidence from Kenya's Western Province, Pascaline Dupas, Sarah Green, Anthony Keats, Jonathan Robinson. in African Successes: Modernization and Development, Edwards, Johnson, and Weil. 2015

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