NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Facilitating Savings for Agriculture: Field Experimental Evidence from Malawi

Lasse Brune, Xavier Giné, Jessica Goldberg, Dean Yang

NBER Working Paper No. 20946
Issued in February 2015
NBER Program(s):Development Economics

We implemented a randomized intervention among Malawian farmers aimed at facilitating formal savings for agricultural inputs. Treated farmers were offered the opportunity to have their cash crop harvest proceeds deposited directly into new bank accounts in their own names, while farmers in the control group were paid harvest proceeds in cash (the status quo). The treatment led to higher savings in the months immediately prior to the next agricultural planting season, and raised agricultural input usage in that season. We also find positive treatment effects on subsequent crop sale proceeds and household expenditures. Because the treatment effect on savings was only a small fraction of the treatment effect on the value of agricultural inputs, mechanisms other than alleviation of savings constraints per se are needed to explain the treatment’s impact on input utilization. We discuss other possible mechanisms through which treatment effects may have operated.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20946

Published: Lasse Brune & Xavier Gin� & Jessica Goldberg & Dean Yang, 2016. "Facilitating Savings for Agriculture: Field Experimental Evidence from Malawi," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(2), pages 187 - 220. citation courtesy of

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