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Unlocking the Black Box of Savings
Last registered on June 21, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Unlocking the Black Box of Savings
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002217
Initial registration date
June 20, 2017
Last updated
June 21, 2017 12:50 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Virginia
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
NYU
PI Affiliation
University of Notre Dame
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2015-09-19
End date
2017-09-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract

We estimate the extent to which low savings rates for many individuals can be explained by high returns to capital in their businesses or in businesses they would like to start. We also estimate the correlation between risk aversion and precautionary savings. In addition, we estimate the extent to which business owners may be more risk loving when they have a target good that they would like to purchase, because they have less use for intermediate levels of funds. We estimate the returns to capital for households of different risk aversion levels and with different patience levels, and combine this with information on their savings rates and borrowing rates at baseline.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Kaboski, Joseph, Molly Lipscomb and Virgiliu Midrigan. 2017. "Unlocking the Black Box of Savings." AEA RCT Registry. June 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2217-1.0.
Former Citation
Kaboski, Joseph et al. 2017. "Unlocking the Black Box of Savings." AEA RCT Registry. June 21. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2217/history/18845.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention will allow households to choose between lotteries which randomize cash grants of varying size ($2 or $100 and $2 or $500) via mobile money to a primarily unbanked population in rural western Uganda. Returns to the cash grants will be calculated at endline.
Intervention Start Date
2017-03-13
Intervention End Date
2017-09-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Outcomes: (1) investment, (2) savings, (3) household income and labor provision, (4) household welfare, and (5) use of/engagement in financial services (see below for more detailed description of outcome construction)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design

This study uses a randomized controlled trial design to understand how households react to an unanticipated (positive) shock to their wealth and how this relates to their time preferences and risk preferences. Households are given a choice between a lottery with a fixed probability of getting $100, or a smaller probability of getting $500. Moreover, they are given a choice between receiving the transfer tomorrow or receiving a somewhat larger amount one month later.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computerized randomization via algorithm in survey software, done in real-time during the cash grant lottery
Randomization Unit
participant level
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1,048 households
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,048 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
590 control households, 373 small ($100) grants, 85 large ($500) grants
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Notre Dame
IRB Approval Date
2017-03-06
IRB Approval Number
12-04-306
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, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS