NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Banking the Unbanked? Evidence From Three Countries

Pascaline Dupas, Dean Karlan, Jonathan Robinson, Diego Ubfal

NBER Working Paper No. 22463
Issued in July 2016, Revised in October 2016
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Law and Economics, Labor Studies

We experimentally test the impact of expanding access to basic bank accounts in Uganda, Malawi, and Chile. Over two years, 17 percent, 10 percent, and 3 percent of treatment individuals made five or more deposits, respectively. Average monthly deposits for them were at the 79th, 91st, and 96th percentiles of baseline savings. Survey data show no clearly discernible intention–to–treat effects on savings or any downstream outcomes. This suggests that policies merely focused on expanding access to basic accounts are unlikely to improve welfare noticeably since impacts, even if present, are likely small and diverse.

download in pdf format
   (672 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22463

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Brune, Giné, Goldberg, and Yang w20946 Facilitating Savings for Agriculture: Field Experimental Evidence from Malawi
Karlan, Kendall, Mann, Pande, Suri, and Zinman w22633 Research and Impacts of Digital Financial Services
Philippon w22476 The FinTech Opportunity
Bachas, Gertler, Higgins, and Seira w23252 Banking on Trust: How Debit Cards Enable the Poor to Save More
Leeper w21822 Fiscal Analysis is Darned Hard
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us