Deferred Wages and Savings Constraints

Last registered on March 10, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Deferred Wages and Savings Constraints
Initial registration date
November 01, 2016

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
November 01, 2016, 10:25 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
March 10, 2021, 2:44 AM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Minnesota
PI Affiliation
Dartmouth College

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
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

Brune, Lasse, Eric Chyn and Jason Kerwin. 2021. "Deferred Wages and Savings Constraints." AEA RCT Registry. March 10.
Former Citation
Brune, Lasse, Eric Chyn and Jason Kerwin. 2021. "Deferred Wages and Savings Constraints." AEA RCT Registry. March 10.
Experimental Details


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
Intervention End Date

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
Randomization Method
Computer generated randomization
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

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)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action Innovations for Poverty Action Institutional Review Board-USA
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Deferred Wages Analysis Plan Part 3 - 2017-03-01

MD5: 82053553dca4ac22ddb716ac3a42b331

SHA1: fcf83c2b89b90157a43d5811ccde98fea4683ca8

Uploaded At: March 01, 2017

Deferred Wages Analysis Plan Part 1 - 2017-01-17

MD5: fa6f549ac3094ce27b27dd0f2646ead0

SHA1: 98553f3edff399901e55a1df8b4be9c78af93cb0

Uploaded At: January 17, 2017

Deferred Wages Analysis Plan Part 5 - 2017-05-10

MD5: 6d71b375edf881f7820c338bab2367e5

SHA1: c0a56272950546443b972fdb9903e563932c1178

Uploaded At: May 10, 2017

Deferred Wages Analysis Plan Part 2 - 2017-02-28

MD5: 51950c24886ef497b9dfa7c778b754c4

SHA1: 21b69a14359459b62a3bd584aa65e2870723cb33

Uploaded At: February 28, 2017

Deferred Wages Analysis Plan Part 4 - 2017-04-09

MD5: 5859a14cf7e934fcf6f60f432a1f928c

SHA1: 002d463c37e8cd37f19d56e269810fd60ecf0c96

Uploaded At: June 07, 2017

Deferred Wages Analysis Plan Part 4 Erratum - 2017-06-07

MD5: b67d6ae398aa326a0b7aa22b4ab2f205

SHA1: 55d328b6824f6b08b5b34bb4a1d2062b363c5363

Uploaded At: June 07, 2017

Deferred Wages Analysis Plan Part 6 - 2017-08-21

MD5: 3c653856d975f6f8c9dcf5c889051302

SHA1: b7c6a5de199220e57c360a9a0a8dda3ea81d8ab2

Uploaded At: August 21, 2017

Deferred Wages Analysis Plan Part 7 - 2019-02-25

MD5: 4f6598ba225d9ab5893df879642c7e4b

SHA1: ef5d927a8cb5bca8a67e8b20cf13a7c9072cdf8f

Uploaded At: February 25, 2019


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials