Deposit Collectors in the Philippines

Last registered on February 07, 2017


Trial Information

General Information

Deposit Collectors in the Philippines
Initial registration date
February 07, 2017

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
February 07, 2017, 10:18 AM EST

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


Primary Investigator

Northwestern University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
UCLA (Formerly University of Chicago)
PI Affiliation
London School of Economics

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Informal lending and savings institutions exist around the world, and often include regular door-to-door deposit collection of cash. Some banks have adopted similar services in order to expand access to banking services in areas that lack physical branches. Using a randomized control trial, we investigate determinants of participation in a deposit collection service and evaluate the impact of offering the service for microsavers of a rural bank in the Philippines. Of 137 individuals offered the service in the treatment group, 38 agreed to sign-up, and 20 regularly used the service. Take-up is predicted by distance to the bank (a measure of transaction costs of depositing without the service) as well as being married (a suggestion that household bargaining issues are important). Those offered the service saved 188 pesos more (which equates to about a 25% increase in savings stock) and were slightly less likely to borrow from the bank.

Registration Citation

Ashraf, Nava, Dean Karlan and Wesley Yin. 2017. "Deposit Collectors in the Philippines." AEA RCT Registry. February 07.
Former Citation
Ashraf, Nava, Dean Karlan and Wesley Yin. 2017. "Deposit Collectors in the Philippines." AEA RCT Registry. February 07.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Marketing representatives went to clients' houses in the treatment barangays and offered the collection service. The cost of the service was 4 pesos per pickup, and clients could choose either a monthly or bi-weekly pickup schedule.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
determinants of take up, regular use of the service, savings balances, borrowing behavior
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Using a randomized control methodology, we evaluate the impact on savings balances and borrowing behavior from a deposit-collecting program at the Green Bank of Caraga in Mindanao in the Philippines. Green Bank offered door-to-door deposit collection services in five communities. The service was an "add-on" to either the clients' normal savings account (which pays 4% per annum interest) or to their SEED account (which also pays 4% per annum interest, but has restrictions on withdrawals, as discussed above and in Ashraf et al, 2006).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Green Bank first identified ten barangays (communities) as candidates for the deposit collection intervention. These areas were accessible and had a significant amount of existing clients. The ten barangays were then grouped into five pairs, so that the two barangays in each pairing were similar in terms of depth of their outreach, density of population, distance to their branch and number of SEED (commitment savings) clients. Then one of the two barangays from each of these pairings was randomly chosen to receive the intervention.
Randomization Unit
Barangay (community). The sample frame used for this study is a subset of the sample from an earlier study on a commitment savings product, called SEED (Ashraf, Karlan and Yin 2006).
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
10 barangays
Sample size: planned number of observations
346 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
5 treatment barangays, 196 treatment individuals
5 control barangays,150 control individuals
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
May 31, 2005, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
May 31, 2005, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
10 barangays
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
346 individuals. Only 137 of the 196 planned individuals actually received the treatment, but all 196 observations were included in ITT estimates.
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

We designed a commitment savings product for a Philippine bank and implemented it using a randomized control methodology. The savings product was intended for individuals who want to commit now to restrict access to their savings, and who were sophisticated enough to engage in such a mechanism. We conducted a baseline survey on 1777 existing or former clients of a bank. One month later, we offered the commitment product to a randomly chosen subset of 710 clients; 202 (28.4 percent) accepted the offer and opened the account. In the baseline survey, we asked hypothetical time discounting questions. Women who exhibited a lower discount rate for future relative to current trade-offs, and hence potentially have a preference for commitment, were indeed significantly more likely to open the commitment savings account. Mter twelve months, average savings balances increased by 81 percentage points for those clients assigned to the treatment group relative to those assigned to the control group. We conclude that the savings response represents a lasting change in savings, and not merely a short-term response to a new product.
Ashraf, N., D. Karlan and W. Yin (2006). "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines." Forthcoming, Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Deposit Collectors
Ashraf, Nava, Dean Karlan, and Wesley Yin. 2006. "Deposit Collectors." Advances in Economic Analysis Policy 6(2): 1-22

Reports & Other Materials