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Saving for Multiple Financial Needs: Evidence from Lockboxes and Mobile Money in Malawi

Shilpa Aggarwal, Valentina Brailovskaya, Jonathan Robinson

NBER Working Paper No. 27035
Issued in April 2020
NBER Program(s):Development Economics

We test whether the provision of multiple labeled savings accounts affects savings and downstream outcomes in an experiment with 761 microentrepreneurs in urban Malawi. Treatment respondents received one or multiple savings accounts, in the form of lockboxes or mobile money. We find that while providing additional boxes increased savings by 40%, technical issues marred the efficacy of a second mobile money account. Both types of accounts had impacts on downstream outcomes, including farming decisions and credit extended to customers. We do not detect differential downstream effects by the number of accounts.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27035

 
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