The researchers collaborated with a for-profit bank in the Philippines on a randomized field experiment to study the determinants of demand for a savings commitment account. After a baseline survey, 9,992 individuals were solicited to open a savings commitment account. Potential clients were randomly assigned interest rates and (conditional on being married)account ownership requirements. The researchers used an OLS specification to estimate the impacts of the two treatments on take-up and saving, controlling for neighborhood, marketer, and week-of-offer fixed effects. The researchers used the results to estimate the price and control elasticities of demand for the savings account.
Of the 9,992 individuals offered, 2,265 opened accounts. 1,523 accounts were opened by married individuals. The researchers found no statistically significant impacts of either interest rate or account ownership on take-up or average savings balance. Estimated demand elasticities suggest that demand was insensitive to both interest rate variation and account ownership requirements. Demand is strongly correlated with client characteristics and bank sales efforts, and there is no evidence of effect heterogeneity.