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Changing Behavior to Improve Household Financial Management in Malawi
Last registered on January 27, 2014

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Changing Behavior to Improve Household Financial Management in Malawi
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000205
Initial registration date
January 27, 2014
Last updated
January 27, 2014 9:43 AM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
IPA
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University Of Michigan
PI Affiliation
University of Michigan
PI Affiliation
University of Maryland
PI Affiliation
World Bank
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2013-01-15
End date
2014-08-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
For many people investments to improve the quality of their lives require saving significant amounts first. Human nature, however, can make saving for long-term goals difficult. In Chitakale, Malawi, researchers are working with NBS Bank Malawi, using random assignment to test the effectiveness of three different interventions aiming to help study participants save: labeling of savings accounts for specific purposes, financial training and motivation, and the use of direct deposits into savings accounts. Researchers will compare the groups that took part in the different study arms to the ones that did not in order to evaluate their effects on savings behavior.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Brune, Lasse et al. 2014. "Changing Behavior to Improve Household Financial Management in Malawi." AEA RCT Registry. January 27. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.205-3.0.
Former Citation
Brune, Lasse et al. 2014. "Changing Behavior to Improve Household Financial Management in Malawi." AEA RCT Registry. January 27. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/205/history/977.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2013-06-01
Intervention End Date
2014-07-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Consumption, expenditures, investments, income and asset levels, loans and transfers, financial literacy level, savings in formal and informal methods, future aspirations and discount rates.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Consumption, expenditures on education and durables, investments in business and agriculture, income and asset levels, loans and transfers, financial literacy level, savings in formal and informal methods, future aspirations (in income, children’s education, assets, social status) and discount rates.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Researchers are testing the effectiveness of three different interventions for overcoming common behavioral barriers to saving. Labeling savings accounts: The first intervention seeks to determine if labeling a bank account with a specific goal for which the money is intended to be spent, such as “school fees,” can help people to achieve their saving goals. The researchers randomly selected 500 people to receive subsidized bank accounts that were labeled with a personal saving goal. A comparison group of an additional 500 people were offered subsidized accounts that were not labeled with any specific saving goal. Financial training and motivation: The second intervention tests whether financial training and motivation courses raise people’s aspirations and inspire them to set and achieve savings goals. The researchers randomly divided the same group of 1000 people who were offered bank accounts into three equal groups. The first group received a 90 minute basic financial literacy training course, the second received basic financial training and an additional “aspiration module” that attempted to motivate them to achieve their savings goals, and the third group served as a comparison and did not receive any financial training or motivation. Direct deposits: The third intervention tests if depositing earnings directly to a bank account instead of receiving them in cash can reduce unplanned spending and increase savings. Three hundred of the 1000 people who were offered bank accounts were randomly selected to receive grants distributed in three installments. Half of those receiving the grants had them deposited directly to their savings accounts, while the other half received the grants in cash.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Done in office by Computer . Account labeling treatment randomization stratified by three variables: village, previous bank account ownership, and self-employment as primary income. Financial literacy training treatment stratified by village and labeling treatment group.
Randomization Unit
household
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1,000 households
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,000 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Actual sample sizes -- Labeled account, control training 145; labeled account, informational training 145; labeled account, informational + aspirational training 146; non-labeled account, control training 145; non-labeled account, informational training 145; non-labeled account, informational + aspirational training 146.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action
IRB Approval Date
2013-01-22
IRB Approval Number
451.13January-005
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