The Impact of Subsidy Delivery Method on Savings Behavior: Experimental Evidence

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Nov 2023
We examine the impact of offering conditional cash transfer (CCT) beneficiaries the choice to receive cash transfers in bank accounts instead of cash. We investigate the effects on savings behavior and downstream outcomes such as assets and trust. We find, on average, no significant impact on overall savings or downstream outcomes. However, among individuals with nonpositive balances prior to the offering, we observe an increase in balances in savings accounts and in the transactional accounts in which the subsidies were initially deposited. These findings underscore the potential of using bank accounts to encourage savings, particularly for individuals with limited prior savings.