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Increasing Savings for Vulnerable Women’s Empowerment (iSAVE) Analysis Plan [Effects of Labeled Mobile Savings Accounts on Savings Behavior]
Last registered on April 18, 2014


Trial Information
General Information
Increasing Savings for Vulnerable Women’s Empowerment (iSAVE) Analysis Plan [Effects of Labeled Mobile Savings Accounts on Savings Behavior]
Initial registration date
Not yet registered
Last updated
April 18, 2014 2:12 PM EDT
Primary Investigator
Middlebury College
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
UC Davis
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
In developing countries, individuals are often exposed to unexpected financial shocks, which may lead to costly risk-coping behaviors. Individuals may be constrained from precautionary saving, which could help them cope with these shocks. Two constraints highlighted in the literature are self-control and social appropriation. Out study attempts to alleviate these two constraints through an intervention involving the provision of mobile banking savings accounts that are labeled for specific goals including unexpected/emergency expenses. The use of labeled savings accounts has been shown to be effective at increasing savings, with speculative evidence pointing suggesting that labeled savings accounts induce mental accounting.
We focus on vulnerable women (widowed, divorced, separated) in Nyanza, Kenya, where access to formal financial services is low. We ask whether labeled mobile banking accounts earmarked for emergencies increases individual saving.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Dizon, Felipe, Erick Gong and Kelly Jones. 2014. "Increasing Savings for Vulnerable Women’s Empowerment (iSAVE) Analysis Plan [Effects of Labeled Mobile Savings Accounts on Savings Behavior]." AEA RCT Registry. April 18. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.323-3.0.
Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Savings Behaviors:
• Maximum amount of unexpected cost that a respondent could cover using her own funds. We ask “suppose you needed money urgently, tomorrow or in a week, to pay for an expense (such as medical emergencies or school fees) that requires you to spend the following amounts...” For each amount (250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, or 8000 KSH), we inquire as to whether she could cover the cost in each of a variety of ways.

• Amount in all M-PESA accounts.

• Total amount in all savings accounts. We ask “How much do you currently have in each of the following accounts (M-PESA, Other Mobile Banking, Formal Bank Account, other savings) in KSH?”

• Total amount saved for each goal. We ask “How much money are you setting aside for a specific goal?

• Total net deposits in: 1) M-PESA accounts and 2) overall savings.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
See above for detailed description of each individual outcome.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We will be conducting an RCT with one control arm and two treatment arms. Both treatment arms will received labeled mobile banking accounts.
Experimental Design Details
The study has one control arm and two treatment arms. The control group participated in group discussions on the importance of savings. Those assigned to treatment 1 (T1) received the same as the control arm, plus a one-on-one activity eliciting savings goals, weekly SMS reminders on the savings goals, and the opening of a free 2nd MPESA account to be used as a labeled savings account. Those assigned to treatment 2 (T2) received the same as the T1 arm, however, the MPESA labeled savings account is interest bearing for those in T2.
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual level
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
27 locations
Sample size: planned number of observations
600 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
300 individuals in control
150 in treatment 1
150 in treatment 2
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Analysis Plan

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Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)