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The impact of formal savings on salaried workers’ spending and borrowing in Eastern Ghana
Last registered on October 05, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The impact of formal savings on salaried workers’ spending and borrowing in Eastern Ghana
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001630
Initial registration date
October 05, 2016
Last updated
October 05, 2016 11:13 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Dartmouth College
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Ghana
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2013-09-01
End date
2017-06-30
Secondary IDs
NMIMR-IRB CPN 009/13-14 - CPHS#24177
Abstract
Many of North Volta Rural Bank's customers who are salaried workers, and therefore receive their pay via direct deposit to NVRB, make frequent use of high interest payday loans (temporary overdrafts). As part of a randomized controlled trial, including 245 men and 75 women, NVRB offered a product to these customers in which they commit to having a fixed amount taken directly from their salary and put in a commitment savings account, for an 18-month period. The key questions this study will answer are (i) How do individuals adjust their finances in response to regular, automated savings withdrawals? (ii) What do they spend the lump sum on? And (iii) Are there any long-term impacts of having participated in the commitment savings program on economic activities, savings, debt, or spending behavior? (iv) How are these impacts different for men versus for women?
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Buehren, Niklas et al. 2016. "The impact of formal savings on salaried workers’ spending and borrowing in Eastern Ghana." AEA RCT Registry. October 05. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1630-1.0.
Former Citation
Buehren, Niklas et al. 2016. "The impact of formal savings on salaried workers’ spending and borrowing in Eastern Ghana." AEA RCT Registry. October 05. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1630/history/11084.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention is a commitment savings program, called “Salary Susu Plus” (SSP), for individual clients whose salaries are directly deposited into the bank by their employer. Participation in SSP involves committing to automatically transfer a fixed amount of one’s directly deposited monthly salary into an SSP account every month for a period of 18 months. The automatic transfer has to be at least 30 Ghana cedis (approximately US$10) per month. In practice, the mean monthly contribution amount is 43 Ghanaian cedis, which is equivalent to 9 percent of the average study participants’ monthly salary. At the end of the 18 months commitment period, the customer is able to withdraw all savings in the SSP account, along with a bonus equal to one month’s contribution. While clients can withdraw funds from their SSP accounts before the commitment period ends, they can only do so by leaving the SSP program, which means they forfeit the bonus payment and must also pay a penalty equal to one month’s contribution.
Intervention Start Date
2013-12-31
Intervention End Date
2015-05-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
- Savings (stock, and flow)
- Debt (loans taken, debt stock and flow, including debt repayment)
- Transfers and loans given
- Expenditures on basic necessities for self and dependents
- Expenditures on more discretionary items
- Purchase of new durables, or repair of existing durables (e.g. household assets)
- Business expenditures and assets
- Own and others contributions to household expenses
- Economic activities / income
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
All North Volta Rural Bank customers with salaried accounts were invited to participate in this study. For the 320 individuals (245 men and 75 women) who agreed to participate, the study randomly assigned half to a treatment group. Clients in the treatment group were offered an opportunity to sign up for the SSP program, and of these, 71 percent joined the program. Those not offered the product serve as the comparison group.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomized control Trial done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individuals
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
320 salaried workers
Sample size: planned number of observations
320 salaried workers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment: 160 salaried workers
Control: 160 salaried workers
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Not available
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects - Dartmouth College
IRB Approval Date
2013-10-03
IRB Approval Number
CPHS 24177
IRB Name
Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research - University of Ghana
IRB Approval Date
2013-09-04
IRB Approval Number
NMIMR-IRB CPN 009/13-14
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers