Financial Education and Access to Savings Accounts: Complements or Substitutes? Evidence from Ugandan Youth Clubs

Assessing the relationship between financial education and access to savings accounts

This paper seeks to analyze whether formal savings account access and financial education are substitutes or complementary to each other. The study is based on randomly assigning 250 youth clubs to receive either financial education or access to a cheap group savings account, or both. It then analyzes the change in savings for each group. Out of the total groups, 60 groups were offered financial education in the form of a  ten-week curriculum, 60 groups were offered easy access to a savings account, 60 groups were offered both financial education and a savings account, and 60 groups were offered neither. The paper covers the following sections in detail:

  • Research design and implementation with a focus on baseline surveys and sample characteristics, randomization and balance checks, financial education treatment, savings account treatments, and estimation strategy;
  • Results from Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression with a focus on treatment effect estimates on financial education, on financial awareness, on numeracy, on financial planning, and on measures of preferences and expectations;
  • Comparison of savings in the group account across the two groups: groups with accounts and groups with both accounts and financial education;
  • Changes in the behavior of all four groups with respect to financial assets and liabilities, income and work, and expenditures.

About this Publication

By Jamison, J.C., Karlan, D. , Zinman, J.