“Deferred Wages and Savings Constraints”
Last registered on February 25, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
“Deferred Wages and Savings Constraints”
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001554
Initial registration date
November 01, 2016
Last updated
February 25, 2019 11:44 PM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
1983
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Virginia
PI Affiliation
University of Minnesota
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2016-10-01
End date
2019-05-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Financial market frictions and behavioral constraints leave many in developing countries struggling to save sufficient funds to purchase durable goods, make profitable investments, or smooth consumption across the year. Savings constraints prevent individuals from making basic investments such as upgrading their dwellings with iron sheet roofs, paying for school fees or having better food options during low income seasons.

Barriers to saving may also have an important negative impact on individuals by depressing labor supply. If smaller income streams cannot be easily saved and aggregated to invest in goods and services that people value, this lowers the effective returns from working. Similarly, if funds cannot be easily transferred from high earning potential periods to low earnings potential periods, this reduces the incentives to work during the high earning potential periods.

One method for saving up larger sums is to defer receipt of income, a form of commitment savings that is surprisingly popular in developing countries. While there is demand for deferred payment in developing countries, this topic has been relatively understudied. Deferred payment is a particular form of commitment savings that merits study because it does not rely on access to bank services.

We study how allowing agricultural workers to defer payment of a portion of their wages to the end of the season affects financial behavior and labor supply. By reducing constraints to saving up large sums, deferred payment should reduce contemporaneous consumption and increase spending and investment that occurs after the payment has been received. In addition, deferred payments may increase the returns to working because deferred pay can be used to purchase sufficiently expensive goods or smooth future consumption.

Our study design will also allow us to shed light on the impact of mobile money on worker outcomes by adding experimental variation of offers to part of regularly scheduled two-weekly payments into mobile money wallets.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Brune, Lasse, Eric Chyn and Jason Kerwin. 2019. "“Deferred Wages and Savings Constraints” ." AEA RCT Registry. February 25. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1554/history/42120
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention 1: partial deferral of regular wages to a later point in the main season when deferred wages are paid out in a lump sum
Intervention 2: partial contemporaneous deposit of regular wages into mobile money accounts
Intervention Start Date
2017-01-31
Intervention End Date
2018-05-28
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
output at work; attendance at work; expenditures on food, durables, total value of financial savings, food storage, value of assets, food security, transfers
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This study has two main parts. The first experiment examines the demand for, and effects of, deferred income payments. The second studies partial wage payments in mobile money. The design for each of these studies are outlined below:

Deferred Wages (DW): Workers are invited to attend information sessions on deferred wages before the main season begins. Research Assistants explain that the program allows workers to delay a portion of their fortnightly earnings to be received as one lump sum after the end of the deduction period when main season ends. Half of those interested will be randomly selected for an offer of deferred wages..

Mobile Money (MM): Members of a separate approximately 250 worker sample receive a basic mobile money startup package containing a SIM card with instructions and assistance on using mobile money. They will be invited to information sessions where they will learn about Mobile Money wage payments. The Mobile Money program allows workers to receive a portion of their fortnightly wages in mobile money rather than cash. Half of those who state interest will be randomize to receive the option for mobile money deposit.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Computer generated randomization
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1 cluster
Sample size: planned number of observations
approximately 1,700 workers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Deferred Wages:
Take-up analysis sample: 1700 workers
approx 600 workers DW treatment
approx 600 workers DW control

Mobile Money:
approx 100 workers MM treatment
approx 100 workers MM control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action Innovations for Poverty Action Institutional Review Board-USA
IRB Approval Date
2016-09-02
IRB Approval Number
13888
Analysis Plan

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