Case Study

Female Empowerment: Impact of a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines

Would individually-held savings product leads to increase in female decision-making power?

This paper explores how female empowerment is related to legal control of financial assets, thus impacting the household decision making. The paper assesses the impact using randomized controlled trail which shows a positive impact on women having median decision-making power in the baseline. Further, the paper highlights some of the practical aspects of the experiment, like selecting a rural bank and implementing a committed savings product. It analyzes data from two sets to assess the relationship between the assets created and decision-making powers of women clients. The document lists some of the effects that lead to assessment of the positive impact:

  • Expenditure on large purchases;
  • Expenditure on person purchases;
  • Assisting family members;
  • Number of children.

It then elaborates on the following sections:

  • Commitment savings product and experimental design;
  • Empirical results on household decision-making and self-perception of savings behavior;
  • Empirical results on crowd-out of the savings in order to examine whether the increase was a shift from other members' savings.

The paper concludes by stating that the simple design feature like restriction in withdrawals can benefit those who want self control devices and desire more decision-making power in the household.

About this Publication

By Ashraf, N., Karlan, D. & Yin, W.